Opioid use across Canada is a big problem. The effects of increased encounters with opioids for law enforcement and first responders can be deadly.
DQE developed the Sentry Shield line of personal protective kits to protect law enforcement officers and first responders from white powdery substances that could contain fentanyl, carfentanil or other powerful opioid-based substances. The Sentry Shield kits are configured based on the recommendations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. These personal protection kits range in coverage based on the severity of exposure levels responders may encounter. In all situations, employers must identify hazards to which their workers might be exposed and provide appropriate personal protective equipment to protect them.
The Sentry Shield QP is a quick protection kit containing protective oversleeves, a NIOSH-approved N95 flat-fold respirator, safety glasses, nitrile gloves with extended cuffs, a contaminated clothing bag and warning labels. It is recommended for a minimal exposure response where fentanyl or other hazardous opioid substances may be present, but not visible. Use examples include pre-hospital care, law enforcement routine duties, inmate searches or customs and border inspections.
The Sentry Shield SP is a standard protection kit containing a barrier protective garment, NIOSH-approved P100 valve respirator, safety glasses, nitrile gloves with extended cuffs, a contaminated clothing bag and warning labels. It is ideal for a moderate exposure response where small amounts of suspected opioid materials may be present. Use examples include pre-hospital care, law enforcement routine duties or investigations and evidence collection.
Lastly, Sentry Shield EP is an extra protection kit, which contains a barrier protective coverall, boot covers, NIOSH-approved P100 valve respirator, safety goggles, two pairs of nitrile gloves, a contaminated clothing bag and warning labels. This is best suited to an elevated moderate exposure response where hazardous opioid substances may be present. Usage examples include investigations, evidence collection and working in the warm zone (contamination reduction).
Due to the dangerous risk of exposure to hazardous opioid substances, it is critical to always be looking for fentanyl indicators, DQE said. Illicit fentanyl, fentanyl-related substances and other synthetic opioids, can resemble powdered drugs such as heroin or cocaine and have been identified in pills, capsules, liquid and on blotter paper. The company recommends its Sentry Shield kits be kept on hand when conducting motor vehicle stops, responding to calls for service and arriving at a scene where there is a suspected overdose incident.
This product write-up originally appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of COS.