World War II First Aid Kit Causes California Hazmat Response - News - @ JEMS.com


World War II First Aid Kit Causes California Hazmat Response

Online research and a call to city official starts Ventura County fire and EMS action


 
 

CINDY VON QUEDNOW, Ventura County Star | | Tuesday, October 15, 2013


A World War II-era first aid kit spotted at an estate sale prompted a huge hazardous material response in Camarillo Monday.

The box contained a small amount of an antiseptic that was frequently used during the war, but could be dangerous so many years later, officials said.

The Ventura County Fire Department responded to a home in the 100 block of Calle Vista about 10:38 a.m. An Oxnard Fire Department hazardous material team and the Ventura County Sheriff's bomb squad also assisted because there was potential for further exposure and explosion. Authorities eventually removed it from the house and disposed of it safely.

Jody Williams and her family purchased the Girl Scouts first aid kit at a multi-estate sale in Ojai Saturday for $5 and later put up on eBay.

Her husband spotted it first. They are self-proclaimed "treasure hunters" and enjoy looking for gems.

"I said, 'right on!' It was a great find," Williams, 49, said.

She was looking forward to researching where it came from and how it was used at the time.

It was one of the first times she decided to put an item for resale on eBay when she got a message from a couple in Denver saying it was illegal to ship it's contents. Williams took down the ad and started doing some research.

Additionally, the chemical, identified as medical grade picric acid, can crystallize over time and become dangerous.

On Sunday night, when she couldn't sleep, she found out the adverse effects. When crystallized it could spark and create an explosion. Williams likened it to Pop Rocks.

"I'm glad my husband and son were asleep when I found out, because they totally would have made fun of me."

She locked up the kit in a safe and the next morning started calling city officials for their advice. She didn't call 911 because she didn't think it was necessary an emergency.

"How dangerous is a 61-year-old first aid kit from the Girl Scouts?" Williams said.

After getting the run around and calling several agencies, she finally got the fire department to respond.

About 1:20 p.m. Detective Mike Rompal with the sheriff's bomb squad came out of the home with the box, after soaking the gauze in water. Soon Williams, her son and their dog were able to go back inside their home.

The box was taken to a materials disposal site that the sheriff's office uses, said Ventura County fire spokesman Bill Nash.

"They handled it so skillfully and tactfully," Williams said about the firefighters who responded to the incident.

No one exposed to the chemical had any reaction or was injured, Nash said

"The bandages are a small part of the first aid kit, but we are dealing with an abundance of caution right now," Nash said during the response.

"The small amount is not going to blow the roof off the house, but it could cause an injury."

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, hazmat

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Strikes Manhattan Pedestrians

Seven people hurt when car jumps curb.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >