At Smiths Detection we’re driven by a set of values that both reflect and define what we do and how we work. Examples of our values can be seen in our day-to-day activities and in our dealings with customers. Two of these values, customer focus and passion, are particularly clear in our work relating to the potentially lethal drug fentanyl.
So potent is fentanyl that even the tiniest amounts can depress respiration and cause death, entering the body through the nose, mouth or eyes. All of this puts the lives and health of those at the frontline of emergency situations at risk.
This is where Smiths Detection came in.
“About a year ago I began getting calls from friends and people I knew who worked in hazmat” said Michael Frunzi, a Smiths Detection senior scientist and product manager in a recent article with the Baltimore Sun. “They wanted a device to detect and identify fentanyl quickly.”
These calls came from both the US and Canada, two countries that have been particular affected by the abuse of fentanyl. Soon after this, Smiths Detection began research to collect the ‘signatures’ for fentanyl-like drugs and to develop the capability of the IONSCAN 600 and the HazMatID Elite to detect these narcotics.
“When you hear from long-term customers and people in the field that there is a serious issue like this, and you know that lives are at risk you really take finding a solution seriously,” said Frunzi.
About a year prior to this, Smiths Detection had been working alongside customers such as the Canadian Law Enforcement Officials to develop the capabilities that meet their specific needs and also be used by others affected by this crisis.
This close work with our customers on meeting the challenge of fentanyl is an expression of Smiths Detection’s values in action. Not only is it about integrity – doing the right thing – it’s about customer focus, and behind it all is our passion to learn and innovate so that we can deliver excellence in rising to tackle new threats and challenges.
This commitment and passion is strengthened through our continuing series of HazMat workshops, which can be tailored and focused depending on the attendees’ needs. Aimed at providing education to first responders on best practice when coming into contact with dangerous substances, these workshops also provide the opportunity to learn first-hand how to use our technology.
For fentanyl, these workshops explore scenarios where responders can use field-based detection and identification systems to mitigate the treat of exposure to the substance.
“Sharing our expertise with first responders about how technology can be used to help reduce the risk of fentanyl exposure is critical in the face of this growing epidemic,” said Stephen Esposito, Smiths Detection VP of Business Development and Sales. “Smiths Detection remains committed to using leading-edge technology to help ensure the safety and security of emergency responders and the communities that they protect.”
Every day we work alongside customers to create products that meet their needs, keeping abreast of developing requirements to ensure that we’re not only living our values, but fulfilling our mission to make the world a safer place.