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First Responders Converge On Massachusetts To Learn How To Deal With Makeshift Drug Labs

DENNIS (CBS) - First responders got a look at what they will face when they're taking action at an improvised drug lab.

Members of law enforcement and firefighters from all corners of the country converged Thursday on a clandestine drug lab assembled in a landfill. The makeshift lab was in a back corner of Dennis' Public Works Facility.

State Police Bomb Squad spokesman Sergeant William Qualls says the training involves representatives of multiple agencies.

State Police Bomb Squad spokesman Sergeant William Qualls. (Photo credit: WBZ-TV)

"We have first responders, arson investigators, some of the best in the country, and when they respond to a scene, they need to be made aware of what they're looking for and what may  have potentially caused that fire at that residence or business," Qualls said.

A test dummy set on fire by exploding chemicals at a training drug lab. (Photo credit: WBZ-TV)

Organized by NES Global, a former DEA Agent, and current police officers, the training highlighted the hazards faced by law enforcement and fire fighters in dealing with "pop-up" drug labs, fentanyl, and opiods.

The training took first responders step-by-step through what goes on inside those labs.

Instructors actually mixed chemicals to make methamphetamines.

"What we're trying to do is to make it safe and give everybody an idea of what to look for and how to handle the situations that might arise," Qualls said.

Police and fire fighters mix chemicals to learn how to deal with methamphetamines and fentanyl. (Photo credit: WBZ-TV)

The training was timely because carfentanil, a more powerful form of fentanyl, was recently discovered in Massachusetts. That's an opioid that is used to sedate elephants and an amount as small as a penny could be fatal.

The carfentanil discovery was made when police tests from three drug samples, two from Brockton and one from Quincy on Wednesday, tested positive for the substance.

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