Thanks to a recent training hosted by the Nevada National Guard Civil Support Team, NNSS Fire & Rescue has a new skillset that may one day be of benefit to the local communities it serves.
NNSS F&R—which provides 24/7 ongoing life safety response coverage throughout Nye County at no charge—is now fully trained to conduct public safety sampling of unknown, potentially hazardous, substances (liquid, powder, etc.).
The training course simulated a clandestine lab with an unidentified powder that attendees needed to collect safely, without contaminating the sample.
“As with all of our training, we hope we’ll never need to use it,” said Battalion Chief Doug Rierson. “But if a situation involving unidentified substances arises, we’ll be ready.”
Locally, unknown substances are sent for identification to the CDC’s Lab Response Network at the Southern Nevada Health District, the only lab of its kind in Southern Nevada. With this training completed, any samples collected by the NNSS F&R team could become evidentiary, or admissible in court.
The course was repeated several times to ensure all employees covering all shifts could attend.