Responding to Drug-Related Incidents

8 hours

This course focuses on the dangers that first responders face when responding to drug-related incidents. Customizable to the jurisdiction, the training teaches participants how to identify specific drug labs, recognize the hazards and respond to the incident. The course will review new tactics and guidelines for drug-related response in addition to safety procedures, detection devices and disposal of substances – among other topics – to ensure a safer response to illicit drug lab incidents. Supplementary information, fact sheets and resources are available to participants on the IAFF’s Online Learning Center. This course will satisfy annual HAZWOPER refresher requirements.

Course Goal

Through this course, the IAFF is working to ensure that emergency responders, specifically operations level responders, have the knowledge and skills to support operations at incidents involving illicit drugs and illicit drug manufacturing in accordance with:

  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response
  • NFPA® 1072: Standard on Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents
    • Chapter 4: Competencies for Awareness Level Personnel
    • Chapter 5: Core Competencies for Operations Level Responders
    • Chapter 6: Competencies for Operations Level Responders Assigned to Mission-Specific Responsibilities, Section 6.9: Response to Illicit Laboratory Incidents
  • NFPA® 1971: Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting
  • NFPA® 1851: Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting

Course Objectives

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define terms: illicit drug labs and illicit weapons of mass destruction (WMD) labs.
  • Describe two types and three general categories of illicit drug labs.
  • Identify drugs produced in illicit drug labs and the three processes used in the manufacture of illicit drug labs.
  • List at least four common locations for illicit drug labs.
  • Identify and describe the four stages of APIE: A Risk-Based Response Process.
  • List at least five clues for identifying illicit drug labs.
  • Identify chemical hazards when responding to a reported illicit drug lab.
  • Describe operational hazards, considerations and products involved in the illicit drug manufacturing process.
  • Describe safe procedures and tactical guidelines.
  • Identify appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and chemical protective clothing (CPC) for fire fighters and HazMat technicians responding to an illicit drug lab.
  • Discuss the limitations of structural firefighting protective clothing (SFPC) in preventing chemical exposures.
  • Describe decontamination procedures for responders and civilians encountered at an illicit drug lab.
  • Describe hazards that need to be monitored and identify appropriate detection devices to use when performing mission-specific operations.
  • Describe the fire department’s support role in an illicit drug lab incident and the roles of the personnel typically at the scene of illicit drug lab incidents.
  • Identify steps of the deactivation phase.
  • Apply risk-based response to a given illicit drug lab incident scenario.

Performance Measures

Participants must demonstrate mastery of the course objectives by completing the post-test. The post-test includes 24 multiple choice and/or matching items. Additionally, participants work in small groups to simulate their response to illicit drug lab scenarios during Module 5 – Putting It All Together.