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Posted on: January 10, 2020

White Substance Identified Following Hazmat Incident at EIRMC

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*The following are joint statements from the Idaho Falls Fire Department and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

 We appreciate the community’s patience as we worked through the HazMat incident that occurred at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center last night.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department and Regional HazMat Team tested the substance while on scene at EIRMC late last night. Preliminary tests indicated that the substance was Fentanyl, a strong synthetic opioid. 

Following additional monitoring and testing, it was determined that no individuals involved with the incident were harmed. As per protocol, the team contained the substance and sent it to a lab for additional testing and verification. Those results are still pending.EIRMC abbreviated logo 2019

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Update (Jan. 10, 2020, 12:44 a.m.):

The Idaho Falls Fire Department has cleared the scene at EIRMC’s ER. Testing conducted on the scene revealed that the white substance did not pose a risk to staff or others who may have come in contact with it, according to a news release from EIRMC. ER operations were maintained Thursday evening while Hazmat crews were on scene.

Original Press Release (Jan. 9, 2020, 10:08 p.m.):

On Thursday evening, a patient entered EIRMC’s ER carrying a container of an unknown white substance, stating that he had ingested it.

ER staff isolated the patient and notified on-site law enforcement, who secured the area as a precautionary measure. Idaho Falls Fire Department and the Hazmat Team were dispatched and assumed command of the situation. Relevant state agencies were notified and consulted.

Initial air monitoring conducted by the Hazmat team indicated no chemicals in the room. There is no one showing signs or symptoms of chemical exposure. The Hazmat team is currently conducting precautionary testing of the substance.

EIRMC’s ER remains fully staffed and open. We do not believe there is a threat of exposure to other individuals who did not have direct contact. There is no threat of exposure in areas where patients are currently being treated.

Out of an abundance of caution, EIRMC staff who had direct physical contact with the patient have also been temporarily sequestered until more information is obtained.

To allow Hazmat responders to operate, patients have been directed to enter the ER through the west side of the building, instead of the main entrance.

There is no additional information at this time.

Media Contacts

Idaho Falls Fire Department:

Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer

Office: (208) 612-8122  Email: khammon@idahofallsidaho.gov

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center:

Coleen Niemann, Director of Marketing & Community Relations

Office: (208) 529-6213 Email: coleen.niemann@hcahealthcare.com

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