U.S. Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and David Trone (D-MD) recently introduced a bill that seeks to protect law enforcement personnel and other first responders from lethal substances such as fentanyl.
The Protecting First Responders from Secondary Exposure Act would improve state and local government ability to purchase containment devices and provide training to use them.
“Over the years, there have been far too many instances of police officers and first responders being exposed to lethal substances such as fentanyl while responding to calls,” Joyce said. “That’s unacceptable. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to assist state and local governments with purchasing containment devices to protect first responders and police officers from secondary exposure.”
Joyce said those serving on the front lines must have the equipment and training necessary to do their jobs safely.
The legislators indicated emergency response personnel are commonly at risk of exposure to illicit drugs through inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, contact with needles, or mucous membrane contact via the nose, eyes, and mouth. There have been circumstances in which police and first responders have been exposed to hazardous substances nationwide.
“We must ensure that members of law enforcement have access to proper safety equipment so that they can effectively protect themselves and the citizens they serve,” Trone said. “That’s why I’m proud to cosponsor legislation that will ensure all first responders have access to containment devices to shield them from toxic substances like fentanyl or anthrax. It is our job to protect those who sacrifice so much to keep our communities safe.”