Volume 3 Number 30
July 24, 2006

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During the week of  July 10 through July 14 the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Multi-jurisdictional Counter-drug Task Force Training Center at the St. Petersburg College jointly sponsored a clan lab certification course with the assistance of the Bureau of Forensic Fire and Explosive Analysis.  The training was held at the Fire and Arson Lab in Quincy.

This important training and certification is critical to the state in its continuing effort to combat the clandestine drug lab problem that has grown in Florida over past years.  Funding to the class was provided by the sponsoring agencies as well as regional domestic security funds for both the Northwest and Northeast Domestic Security Regional Task Forces. 

State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher recognized the need for this important training as part of legislative initiatives passed during the 2006 legislative session and made a priority by the State Fire Marshal.  The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations has responded to some fifty of these labs that have exploded or ignited, an event common to some 30% of the labs around the nation.

The intensive training was attended by first responders from law enforcement agencies throughout Florida.   Each of the attendees returned to their community certified to respond to reported drug labs and capable to work was part of the state’s strategy in dismantling the labs in as safe a manner as possible. 

The specialized training was provided by subject matter experts from the nationally recognized California Department of Justice.  California was one of the first states to be faced with large numbers of drugs labs.  

Fire Marshal Gallagher stated, “I would like to commend the men and women who attended this training to become certified in responding to drug labs in our state.  The service they provide to their communities every day is complicated by the dangers these labs pose and their willingness to respond and dismantle these dangerous labs before they explode or ignite is indeed commendable and deserving of our praise. 

BFAI, BFFEA, FDLE and MCTFT will be hosting a second training class to certify drug lab responders in October.