The White House National Security Council coordinated an Interagency Working Group (Working Group) comprised of ten federal departments and agencies to create the Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders document (published in November 2017) and the Fentanyl: The Real Deal training video based on the document. Collaborative support on the document and video was provided by 24 stakeholder associations and organizations representing the medical, public health, law enforcement, Fire/EMS, and occupational safety and health disciplines to ensure the recommendations are operationally relevant and appropriately tailored to first responders. The video was produced with the help of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
BJA took the lead on the rollout of this video by hosting members of the Interagency Working Group and agency leadership, approximately 20 first responders in uniform, representatives from the stakeholder associations, and members of the media. The kickoff event was held on Thursday, August 30 from 2-3:30 p.m. ET in the OJP Ballroom. The event was also livestreamed.
First responders, including law enforcement, fire, rescue, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, are increasingly likely to encounter fentanyl and other synthetic opioids when responding to overdose calls, conducting traffic stops, arrests and searches, and securing the border. The video highlights protective actions first responders should take to perform daily activities safely when the presence of fentanyl is suspected, actions to take when exposure occurs, and steps to take when individuals exhibit signs of opioid intoxication. The video provides scientific, evidence-based recommendations to protect against exposure to fentanyl and will be an essential training tool for first responders as they continue to fight on the frontlines of the opioid crisis.