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Marijuana Grow Operations, Part 2

Fri, 9 Sep 2011|

Part two of this free training program from Firefighters Support Foundation details the nature of indoor marijuana grows and describes the very real but under-appreciated dangers associated with them.


Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

PPE. Personal protective equipment. What is PP was protective clothing for chemical exposure hazards. Or protective equipment. For chemical and or other physical hazards that we might find in the indoor grown bar. Do we need personal protective equipment when when in an indoor grow. Absolutely what are some of the -- we have chemical hazards we have electrical hazards what are -- risks of exposure. To cutting. Cutting a more hands feet. Handling of all these dangerous materials and ultimately the dismantling of the lap. It definitely calls for personal protective equipment. What types of personal protective equipment what might we -- -- working and indoor marijuana grow well. Chemical protective suits. Boots. Booties. -- Respirators. Other equipment we might need and face protection a horse hat and electrical safety equipment. Of course we can do a hazard -- valuation. To help us with the selection. Of our protective clothing. We identify and evaluate the hazards. That the protective clothing must protect the user against. Chemical -- Identify the chemical. One of the concentration. Levels of these chemicals. What are its physical properties which we discussed earlier and what are the qualities of -- that we're dealing with. What are the electrical hazards. There were looking that are working for. What are the lighting hazards to include -- Ballast and various types of flights some not compatible with the other. And then what is -- risk of exposure. What are the tasks that you have to perform in that indoor grow. To either dismantle what were investigated. What's going to be the duration of your exposure. And what of the environmental conditions. Remember the following rules for protective clothing. No material was good for all chemicals. Chemicals -- eventually permeate all materials. Layers -- protection. Chemical protective -- sensitive to cuts and punctures. You may want to put on one set of gloves. Then put on some type of -- -- cut protective gloves. And then put another layer of protective glove over that to work in -- in -- There are various types of protective suit materials. Based on -- mission you'll have to determine which type you need. Or whether you wanna use disposable or re use of issues. A great resource to law enforcement. -- protective suit materials. There's the far report written your local area the Hazmat technicians there will be more than happy to assist you. In your selection of -- proper protective clothing. Either during -- classroom environment. -- at the scene. I'll talk about two chemical protective suits now tied -- what are the properties of the products suited. One small worst allow some water vapor change. When it was ten to sheet off -- the surface but could still permeated. -- also allow gases and papers to -- It's really good for particulates home. And then -- camp. It's a series of protective fabrics. -- can -- CSL. And or who did tie back suits. -- can be your NLD and TK RY eminence on -- back. -- the nation of two or more micro thin layers of different protective materials. Onto a suit. Like -- back. What about our towards a protective gloves. Are our -- I recommend -- trial. Work neoprene is the best -- when dealing with ammonia. The -- PVC. Butyl -- PVA and others. Again I recommend that law enforcement officers go to their local Hazmat units -- even go to Hazmat technicians school. Learn about these type of materials and how to use -- properly. For law enforcement. The Drug Enforcement Administration. DEA grow operation recommendation. Is the following. A full face. -- or would they -- 100. Respirator. Globes night trial or neoprene. Suits. -- -- disposables news. Hazmat crews when they drive beat column wonder still worse can -- Just realized that when you get into this business there are rules let's talk about respirator fit testing. Employees must be trained. In limitations. And selection of respirators. Prior to use. The fit of the respirator must be judged prior to use. Fit testing and training must occur annually. And it can be combined -- other refresher training things. Read carefully. Morning nine CF 41910. Dot 134. Bat -- These are OSHA regulations. That must be complied with when you short were respiratory protection. Let's talk about site safety. The site's safety officer. Citing safety officers election. Number -- an employer must assure world. So -- possible a safe and healthy working environment for every man and woman -- that -- -- report. The -- must take reasonable care to protect the workers health and safety and the health and safety of older workers. 29 CO 490. Intent -- plot. What is this like safety officer. -- safety culture is a person who were the person who. Is responsible. To the employer. And has the authority and knowledge necessary to implement. The -- safety and health plan and verify compliance. With applicable safety and health requirements. Unfortunately. Under warning now aren't CF or 19:10. Dot 1 morning house whopper. Does not apply at this time of marijuana grow operations. Because indoor marijuana -- do not fall under the house -- requirements. Most of Portland's did not provide. A -- safety officer at the scene of marijuana indoor grow. However. What you could do is bring up firemen and to fill that role as the site safety all sure why you're Portman is actively working the marijuana and work -- saying. When working in indoor marijuana grow law enforcement needs to ensure that all the performance were represented at that sane. There -- agency. The local fire agency. And EMS. In other words you want to have police firefighters. And paramedics. All of -- scene of an indoor marijuana grow. The entire team. Should be debriefed based on their expertise. To gather information on the status of hazards. Which could be chemical. And -- physical hazards. Aware of the team will be operating. Again part of performance or an excellent resource to utilize. When assessing the hazards -- -- -- The site's safety officer -- designated sites safety officer which again may be. A Hazmat training -- Need to conduct a site safety briefing. They need to conduct equipment checks and then -- a hazard about -- edition and -- works as a nation. A good example would be where's the power located. Once law enforcement has gained control of the scene. What -- serve us and arrests being made. The fire department is also an excellent resource. For -- capabilities. And being able to get in and Powell of different spaces. Using the equipment that they have on hand to your -- Portman doesn't. What part of Portman does help you establish -- -- control. By helping to identify. Some off site target locations that contamination. May affect. In the area for instance of those schools. -- schools. Day cares and local businesses that the firefighters may be aware of the those law enforcement -- knob. There will be several phases to this operation. First most likely tactical entry. During tactical entry your swat team can move for. Serve the war. And control suspects. But very close by should be a fire truck and EMS in case the fire -- to break out one of these tactical officers. Were injured when electricity. A chemical. Or some other atmosphere captured next -- assess hazards physical. Biological. Chemical and monitor the atmosphere. Again. You may not be able to do this without the help of your local fired -- performance who actually own less valuable monitoring equipment. Know how to use it and are typically more than happy to assist you. In this operation. It may be time to call the utility company because we've got to do what. Control the electricity. Turn off the grow operations but you've also got to leave some power again firefighters may have valuable tools. Such as a hot stick. It will let you know what's circuits -- or living and what your bed. And always ensure that -- is available. This means several things. Fire. Hazmat. Possibly urban search and rescue teams mostly made up volunteer firefighters. And then any utility company. That has ownership. In that building that you are working hand. But with that always remember this site control must be maintained. Its not a circus -- a merry go round and not everybody gets to look. Only necessary personnel. Need to enter and exit the indoor grow and handle the evidence. You want to be able to monitor changes. Again. Many part of Portland's all for units that are available to help you -- such expenses. Monitor the environment. Whether anticipate emergencies. Fire and electricity. And personnel. EMS is always good to have on hand on a hot day when people may need -- when they get overworked and dehydrated. That's what all first responding personnel need this valuable training on indoor marijuana grows it's definitely a joint effort. As the site safety officer -- must enforce the hazard control hierarchy. Engineering and administrative. And personal protective equipment chosen more. Multiple roles or -- may have to be worn by the same person. Multiple -- may have to be performed by the same person the -- safety officer and whoever's standing by to help them. It would be good to parallel may be a law enforcement's flight safety officer with an. Firefighters like safety officer had to co captains working together -- the -- Then the processing and dismantling of the indoor -- Sure a majority of -- evidence. But there are a lot of things to consider. -- have to receive and process information from your assessment team. They're the ones that have been and they're looking at. Evaluate their data and compare to standards for the level of protection. And determine what. Personal protective equipment -- going to be worn out by the teams going in to work the crime scene. Insured. Most police departments don't have -- you can have your local fire department set up the prior to any officer even entering the scene other than -- your tactical officers. EMS and paramedics. Equally as important. You can have -- there to monitor your team for heat stress hypothermia. Dehydration. Holes and breathing. You also want your your -- mass and your paramedic there in case there is some type of a chemical exposure. To bare skin. Nasal passages -- long. And more for the role of the site safety officer at an indoor marijuana -- You must -- through the processing activities continuously. You wanna look for safe work practices and is the proper protective equipment being used. During dismantling what do we need what don't we need to touch. Plans -- lights chemicals eccentric. Maintains tight control. And ensure that a but your -- safety officer role won't end there it goes for and the post incident and followup operations. You must restock used safety items. -- clean and maintain equipment. Weren't sure that your personnel of guns. Document and address any exposure incidents. Maintain compliance would require programs. Now for some case studies on cases I've been directly involved -- On Saturday may tenth 2008. And local sheriff's department all office requested the assistance. Of the state police special services unit for assistance when they can -- space marijuana -- Sheriff's deputies from their narcotics unit worked the case. Myself and another rate of responded. Made the confined space entry and assisted the sheriff's office by providing safety and -- equipment and protective gear. Sheriff's office personnel developed further leads and discovered a second in to work marijuana growth. That was associated -- the confined space grow. If you'll see -- swat 105 we have the shift to day week. A beautiful residence set somewhere in -- hilly area. -- what's this. There's another tool shed on -- spare bedroom. Or an underground in the world marijuana grow if you -- an underground indoor marijuana -- you were right. Well I you can say we weren't the only ones -- ball as I've said throughout this production. Fire and EMS. And even an urban search and rescue team in this particular case -- needed to be successful. -- -- one away you see what looks like a normal war. On slot one I don't know why you see -- garage door opener in marking. On the next slide that you see that normal looking for coming open after I push the button. On the garage door opener. Looking down. Through the hole -- that morons like 111. You can see a completely. Underground. Confined space. Indoor marijuana -- story to appear. On the next slide it's a little bit different image and the floor -- all the way open you can Begin to see marijuana plants. Fertilizers. And other -- media. You can also see me now on -- 113. In what -- see dress on surface applied here. With confined spaces it's a totally different situation and SE BA won't do. If I were to become trapped were pinned in this underground -- I would at least have a constant and consistent air supply using surplus -- error. You can see that the inside of this growth was constructed of steel. And cement. On slot 115 it's actually a picture that I took looking -- Work well -- the confined space indoor grows. You can see the mother plant in slot 116 that was used for cloning. In this grow operation. In the next slide you start to see chemical pesticides. Growth news and acids and bases. On the next slide you see some of the equipment associated with -- indoor grows. -- for plantation. Various later woods Paper towels -- pesticide bottle and you start to see some electrical wiring. Almost like 119. The reason I took the photograph. Of this. What looks like a desk organizer. Is that because inside this desk organizer was the suspects credit core. Receipts were He had -- stuff to build his grow operations. And -- illegal handgun. Which you'll see him later photographs. In slot 100 warning. We started to see somewhat more elaborate electronics that were being used in this underground indoor marijuana grow. A homemade ventilation system. And again you can see some -- -- starting to crawl across the ceiling. Notre photograph of the ventilation system inside this -- remember this is completely underground. -- -- And the tops of the marijuana plant. This is myself and my -- -- the seven plants and other materials up to you investigators. On the surface to be photographed and documented. And then ultimately destroyed as evidence. In the next photograph you see is -- well the mother plant. And then the next -- -- number 126. Always a good arm and illegal handgun. Inside. The indoor -- -- -- As you can see from the next slide the pile gets pretty war. Slot 127. And warned 48 shows -- everything that was contained in that underground indoor marijuana growth. Look look carefully in the right hand corner of the picture at some of the pesticide. And some of the fertilization bottles. No -- chemical contamination all over the -- of whom they've been open stuff as spill -- -- downsides. In the next photograph you'll see PVC pipe thing. And just other thing water. Water trapped. -- and you can see that the ground -- -- around this stuff. So there was definitely electronics. And water and electrical current flowing through -- into work. Underground marijuana growth. That suspect once call decided to tell us about another indoor marijuana grow upon arrest. In the indoor -- was located in a converted -- In this picture slide 131 you see the stairs leading up to the -- through clauses. But once you get to the talk it's no ordinary -- -- you again have an indoor marijuana grow. Definitely note at the top of this picture what do you see C. Screwed the end to the wooden ceiling. Electric ballots. Now. As I stated earlier when you unplug these ballots they can stay electrically -- for up to fifteen minutes. But firefighters. What I didn't say it. About these electric -- is they heat up as they rumble layups and you'll note that -- -- 1234. Five above them all screwed again to a wooden ceiling. Is is a fire hazard yes absolutely. In slot 133 you'll notice marijuana the bowels boxes. Wiring everywhere I mean as you -- see. None of this is to code is I mean if you were the fire inspector going in here do you think this would pass absolutely not. Slot 134 again a very good view of the -- screwed into the wooden ceiling. I get view of the marijuana plants. You see -- UC electrical cords hanging everywhere. And -- well -- current going through them. Now. Noticed on the bottle in slot 135. It says PH. Down. That would mean -- wanting to change the PH of something and their warning it together down so what would actually be inside that model. Probably a very strong -- So obviously this bottle was open and -- a strong -- was added to this model. And then the growers simply wrote PH down. On the side now go back to what we were learning earlier and I said it was important to understand PH -- the PH scale. This is why. You can then take out -- PH Paper saying what and see if there was actually an acidic let it would be in there. Slide number 136. You see full moral issues plus. Just a type a plant fertilizer. Some type of hypocrisy which is definitely flammable and a water bottle. There that looks chapel. -- something other than quite the color of water so we don't really know what it is -- -- so how do we have to treat that. As an unknown chemical. In slide number 137. Just wanted to give you a good shot of the marijuana plants and the way that they were bought it. In slot 138 you can see the blood is really starting to form only appliance. Slot 139. Is just a look at some more of the electricity. The lighting systems that they were using and that's -- first thing that they're whitening system was also part of their ventilation system. Again I'm sure -- not -- to any code. Slide number 140 another picture of the marijuana bud. -- number 141 the same thing you can see that this is a successful. Indoor marijuana grow operation by the way this marijuana walks. Now it's time for case study number two. Which I pretty much -- found to be one of the most interest thing confined space indoor marijuana grows without ever work don't. This whole clandestine hydrochloric indoor marijuana -- was found in August of 2007. It was actually located two stories underground. The home builder prior to building the home dugout and area and placed a -- -- container and it. Then built a small room from the ceiling and container. Leading up through the crawl space of the house. And then built the house over the -- courtrooms. To confined space indoor grow. Can be accessed through a trap to work in the clauses of the house. Now you can see from slide number 144. This is a very normal looking residence. Looks like any other home in that particular neighborhood. -- look at slide number 145. And I haven't labeled as air condition. You that one used to cool the house. In the next slide -- want 46 I have air conditioner unit to. Used to cool the indoor grow operation. One way to find work to investigate. These indoor grow operations. Is to look for multiple air conditioners attached to the house that don't -- If the house is too small to need to work three or possibly for air conditioning units. There's a good chance you may have an indoor marijuana grow. In the next slide slide 147. Air conditioner unit number two. Basically we pull the -- law a bit. And we used to label to provide the serial number and date of purchase. Of the air conditioner that was cooling the underground indoor grows. By having the date of purchase for the manufacturers. Say it gives us some idea how long this indoor grows and operating. Now look at picture number 148. Trap door leading to the first underground level you don't see any trap or do you just see some corporate and -- clauses. But look at -- 149. That's what the carpet peeled away and the -- and were open and the stairs leading down into the first room. In picture number 150. Noticed that behind this stairs. Leading down into the first room we've opened another trap the work. That trap door leads to another set of steps that actually takes you down into the Bering -- -- and contain her. Where the indoor grows contain. Also look carefully. In the right hand side of this photograph is what type of canister. CEO did so this -- artificially. Providing. Carbon dioxide to his clients in this indoor grow. Could this be dangerous yes -- think back to earlier lessons where we store to talk about. Parts per million of carbon dioxide. The next slide is the interior -- level warm room approximately. Thirteen feet underground. Now look to the right. Lower right hand side we see two more CO2 canisters. Don't know whether there and -- yet. This is basically. The indoor grow operators maintenance room. Look also hanging on the right hand wall you'll notice. -- box. -- like the utility box would pull -- slides. Did contain screws nails and various other things that this indoor grow operator needs to -- Needs to use to repair the grow below. In slot 152. You'll notice bit. You'll see electric and water leading down below piping and -- -- Now remember that the indoor role operator. Happens to be the same person that built this house specifically. To run this indoor grow. In slot 153. It's just a simple photograph of an electronic panels. -- still on the upper level we are not down in the sea land container yet. In -- number 154. You'll see that the guy's got an entertainment system. And just wires all hanging down from the ceiling and we're not even in the -- yet. He's also got some pictures of aliens and different stuff in there that I guess He liked to -- look at when He would dust smoke is we need. Okay picture 155. You're looking down -- level to. Thirty feet below ground into the buried at -- -- container. -- the actual indoor marijuana grow operation is house. I have slot number 156. Labeled level to chamber won the grows. This is actually the war was part of the grow operation this was one of the most incredible. -- underground indoor grow operations I've ever -- You can see the quality of the marijuana under the lights in this photograph. In slide number 157. Level to chamber warm the water. Electric. And timers. Now look at this closely you see a -- box hanging you see -- -- routed everywhere. You see water pipes crossing over electrical wires. All of this non standard and definitely not -- code. And definitely. Definitely -- confined space and a danger to anybody going in that. Slide number 158. You can see the electric and CO2 delivery system in level two chamber one. There's also back at -- media on the left hand side of the photograph. Photograph number 159. Another picture closeup of the carbon dioxide bottle being used the CO2 -- We found nine of these tanks being used on level two could this have been an atmosphere hazard yes absolutely. Could there have been more carbon dioxide. In the air -- oxygen yes absolutely. Again confines base year and -- to supply air. Had to be used during the course of this investigation. And during the dismantling and processing. Of this underground indoor grow operation. In picture number 160. I'm showing more work. I'm more close -- photograph of the CO2 delivery system has set up by the indoor grow operator. -- number 161. Just two more of the CO2 times always remember atmosphere. I've -- us flight number 162. The redneck ventilation system. Actually it was an outstanding ventilation system. Inside the house upstairs and -- Residential area the home you could not smell -- -- or smoke marijuana whatsoever. Slide number 163. -- labeled chemicals known and unknown. No room by the labels on them unknown because they've already been opened although notice that one album even says PH up. Base and mrs. -- labeled. -- me the container. Now of course that doesn't mean that's what's in there but again you can pull out your PH Paper and jacket. Photograph number 164. More chemicals. Moral questions bloom seems to be a favorite of the fertilizer or plant -- among the indoor grow operators in this state. Slot number 164. More chemicals. Slide number 166. More chemicals. One of them showing PH down again most likely a strong passes. Slot number 167. Levels -- chamber to this was actually. -- rose actually sectioned off into different areas we've got the mother plans and none of cloned children plants growing to later be moved. -- the actual full row area. Photograph ones 68. -- bugs look at the bugs growing on this marijuana it is obvious. That the grower who knows what ordered to -- in this grow operation. Slide number 160 none more electrical genius. Now look at that. Firemen. Is Vista code. Absolutely not noticed -- timer. Lots of stuff happening inside this indoor growth. Based on -- not necessarily the grower being down are working in that environment. Never ever and her confined space environment -- -- the proper training. You would have to be at least confined space. Operations level trained to -- of this in the world -- In other words ocean does mandate whether you can enter this environment are not. Because it is an -- defined confined space. The site safety officer should at a minimum -- -- -- space technician.

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