Smiths Detection Inc. (SDI) is at the forefront of arming first responders with solutions to safeguard against the presence of fentanyl. Working directly with international law enforcement and hazmat agencies, SDI has adapted a range of existing technologies to be able to quickly and accurately detect fentanyl and its analogues on scene.

Fentanyl, if inhaled, may lead to respiratory arrest, is 50 times more lethal than heroin and 100 times more lethal than morphine. It is prompting fears of a public health crisis and a threat to the safety of first responders who may not be aware of its presence during a response.

SDI has adapted three of its leading technologies to detect and identify fentanyl, including:

  •  IONSCAN 600 - used in airports, corrections facilities and security checkpoints across the world, this portable system detects invisible amounts of narcotics   like fentanyl, and explosives, in seconds.

  •  HazMatID Elite/Target ID - an infrared handheld chemical identifier performs chemical analysis on bulk amounts of solids and liquids, which may be used as   court-admissible evidence.

  •  ACE-ID - utilizes laser Raman technology which allows users to test bulk quantities of unknown substances without contact, including through plastic and   glass.

The technologies were designed to complement each other in response scenarios but can work independently. SDI also enhanced its ReachBackID 24/7 hotline to give first responders using these technologies access to Ph.D. scientists to support the field-based analysis of fentanyl and several of its analogues.

Shan Hood, Vice President of Product & Technology for Smiths Detection, said: “The new fentanyl threat to first responders is real and severe since accidental contact with- or inhalation-of very small amounts can be life threatening. The right technology can help first responders make better informed decisions about how best to protect themselves from fentanyl and its analogues during emergencies.”

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