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Re: A Reality of Fentanyl Safety for the Future


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Last week’s news calamity reported several California Highway Patrol officers and a tow operator being expose to fentanyl. It caused a really big stink and a media frenzy. Whether or not it was the media dumping another huge load of crap into the headlines, I believe raises a valid question that has to do with dealing with motorists and their potentially drug-tainted vehicles. Obviously, to approach the possibility of having to deal with fentanayl means more training and providing drivers and yard staff with expensive PPEs necessary to work around those "what-if-risks" involved in towing and storing towed vehicles. These are simply a few realities that the industry might be facing for the future. Like any illegal substance or drug of choice ... the product isn't going away.  


To the average city cop, highway patrol officer, firefighter, paramedic and (us) tow operators; to recognize what, “white-powers”, are potentially deadly versus non-debilitating is virtually possible. It’s my guess that even the most astute and highly aware tow operator would EVER be able to tell the difference between that of plain old, kitchen counter, cooking flour and what constitutes a deadly does of fentanyl? Obviously, one would be dead before they could make any effort in trying to identify the product. To that, I say, “Good luck”, determining whether or not you should enter any vehicle even if it is to release the handbrake or shift into neutral?


Could that white-powder have come from some white, dried battery acid or alkaline that dusted the top of a dead battery lying on the vehicle’s backseat floor? Should the industry go into panic-mode because of this one unconfirmed story? For the future, if there’s an increased possibility of fentanyl poisoning, perhaps the industry’s immediate focus should be how to load and off-load vehicles without ever having to go inside? What’s next? Paper suits and full-blown breathing apparatus required for the average tow? Try charging the customer by listing on the invoice, “Precautionary Chemical Safety”, and then, listen to em’ scream and holler.      R.

Randall C. Resch

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The take away from each of these instances is to limit your exposure to the interior of a vehicle. This means either asking the customer to change gears, turn the steering wheel, release the parking brake etc. These are all tasks that tow truck operators have been accustom to preforming in order the control the performance of loading a vehicle. If this is not an option say on the side of the road, or where no driver is available then wear proper PPE and dispose of it properly as well. I know more and more companies are getting into supplying these in some quantities to their drivers should they need them. The task for the driver is to wear them when needed. Something to keep in mine when wearing gloves do not touch your face.


How many reading this carry and/or have PPE in your equipment. Gloves, Masks etc. at minimum do you have surgical type gloves in your truck?

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