Mixing common household chemicals can produce a lethal combination and a potentially deadly one to bystanders and responders coming on-scene to an intentional detergent suicide.
Death by chemical cocktail involves a surprisingly simple process that leads to the release of toxic concentrations of poisonous gases; hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen cyanide are the most common gases produced by those intending to take their lives using this method.
Cleaning products that contain acids (such as muriatic or hydrochloric acid) can be mixed with compounds that contain sulfur (such as pesticides and insecticides) to generate hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen cyanide gas is created using an acid source and cyanide salts such as sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide.
The Take Home. The following article published in the August 1983 issue of Fire Chief Magazine is as relevant today as it was 32 years ago. Namely, a dispatch center is an important element of emergency services and critical to saving lives and property but its ability to support field responders is dependent on having correct policies and procedures in place that clarify expectations of dispatchers and field units and coordinates system resources. Maximal response practices and inconsistent dispatch is not only inefficient internally to the agency, but it also adversely affects response time, jeopardizes responders absent of effective triage, and increases crew fatigue and stress by dispatching personnel to calls that they are not needed on. Finally, while some view the diversity of systems as an asset to tailor expectations to local residents, it can also be considered a liability in cases where local standards fall below generally accepted standards and, as a result contrary to beliefs, the patients are the ones suffering the consequences.
When the pandemic swine flu story broke in April 2009, Dr. Clawson pulled together experts in EMS and EMD to develop new and updated tools for use in the emerging epidemic. So intense was his sense of urgency that a “lockdown” work session was held during NAVIGATOR, and no one left until the committee had a solution that could be distributed to the world at no charge.
The result was the Severe Respiratory Infection (SRI) Tool modified from the Academy’s SRI Symptoms Surveillance and Crew Notification pop-up screen already in ProQA, making it more consistent with swine flu signs and symptoms. The SRI signs and symptoms checklist was made available in all then-current language versions of the MPDS.