EPA tasked CSS to prepare a Quick Response Guide for first responders on the dangerous drug Fentanyl.
Working Quickly to Protect the Health and Safety of First Responders During the Opioid Crisis
Early in the opioid crisis, some emergency medical technicians and police officers were hospitalized after being exposed to Fentanyl while on the job. Recognizing this emerging danger to first responders, EPA tasked CSS to prepare a Quick Response Guide on the dangerous drug. With limited published information on the health impacts of fentanyl, our staff reached out to scientists in the US and other countries. We also worked with an EPA toxicology expert to develop Provisional Advisory Levels (PALs) on fentanyl because other federal health agencies lacked updated, useable information. In just 20 weeks, CSS conducted detailed research; obtained and incorporated input from outside experts; wrote large sections of the document; assembled the first draft; presented the draft to On-scene Coordinators in EPA Regions 4 and 5; shepherded 11 subsequent drafts through reviews by all stakeholders; and coordinated with Consequence Management Advisory Division (CMAD) to publish the final 10-page Quick Response Guide on EPA’s website. We continue to update and revise the document as new information becomes available.