Chemical suicide, a new phenomenon and a threat to the first responder

 Dear Sir / Madam,

A relatively new approach to suicide – using toxic gases generated by the combination of consumer products or common household chemicals – has become more prevalent in recent years. The vapors, especially when trapped in an enclosed space, may exist in concentrations that can be hazardous to first responders and others.

EFRIM teams up with the First Responders from UK, Belgium and France to reach out the European first responder community to ask for attention for this new threat to the first responders.
‘The Scottish Approach’
Douglas Stirling from the Scottish Police says: ” As we have seen more and more these incidents occur in the UK we have identified the critical need for us to inform not only the specialists but also our first responders of the dangers presented at such incidents. Whilst we have commenced a UK wide guidance process we feel the need to now develop practical training packages that can be delivered to all emergency services responders.”Sharing knowledge and joined training:
Colleague Andy Jones add to this: we will launch a training for Police, Fire Fighters and Paramedics in November this year. We would like to get in touch with other European colleagues to discuss their experiences with chemical suicides. What are their problems? How did they solved them? How did they train their staff? How can we help each other? How can we share information etc.

Special interest group:
If interested, we would like to welcome you to come over to the training and get actively involved in developing an European special interest group around the threat of “household” chemicals to first responders. We will focus on chemical suicide but are open to discuss other threats like fentanyl drugs and acid attacks.


On behalf of the EFRIM team:
Douglas Sterling
Head of Unit
SMARTEU(Scottish Multi-Agency Resilience Training & Exercise Unit)
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters and National Training Centre


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