Don't Miss Rob's First Post!

So why is Rob writing a blog anyway? Read here to find out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fentanyl—Even More Dangerous Than You Think

For immediate review at your next roll call, shift briefing or training.

The words jump out at you. “Fentanyl can kill you. Fentanyl is being sold as heroin in virtually every corner of the country.” The words are from a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warning issued June 10, 2016.

Here are more phrases from the warning:

“During the last two years, the distribution of clandestinely manufactured fentanyl has been linked to an unprecedented outbreak of overdoes and deaths.” 

“Fentanyl is not only dangerous to the drug’s users but for law enforcement, public health workers, and first responders who could unknowingly come into contact with it in its different forms.” 

“Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin…and is up to 50 times more potent than heroin.”

The DEA has prepared a video that I urge you to view at your next roll call, shift briefing, department training, and safety committee. The video is titled the “DEA Fentanyl Roll Call Video,” and it is critical that all law enforcement, EMS, and fire first responders view this important information:

You may also find additional information on the DEA website at

Up next: It’s Called SMACS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide)

Stay safe,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mental Health First Aid Workshops Available for Police and EMS First Responders

Registration is open for our upcoming Mental Health First Aid Workshops!

Mental Health First Aid* is a public education program that introduces you to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and reviews appropriate supports.

During this hands-on training, you’ll use role playing and simulations to discover how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. You will also explore common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Like CPR, this workshop will prepare you to interact with a person in crisis and will give you answers to questions such as, “What do I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” You will learn a five-step action plan (spelled out below via an acronym known as ALGEE) to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or experiencing an emotional crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm 
  • Listen nonjudgmentally 
  • Give reassurance and information 
  • Encourage appropriate professional help 
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Workshops will be held:

Sept. 21—Burnsville
Sept. 28—Eden Prairie
Oct. 4—New Brighton
Oct. 11—Milaca
Oct. 17—Hibbing

Read more about and register for this workshop!

Up next: Fentanyl—Even More Dangerous Than You Think

Stay safe,

*This workshop is being done in partnership with Fairview Health Services and the Fairview Foundation, and will be presented by Fairview's certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors. Improving the health of the communities they serve is the cornerstone of Fairview Health Services non-profit mission. To better understand the needs of those communities, in 2015 Fairview conducted Community Health Needs Assessments for all six Fairview hospitals. Results of these assessments showed that concerns about mental health and well-being topped the list of prioritized community health needs at all six hospitals. Their commitment to the Mental Health First Aid program is one way they are responding to our local communities in response to these concerns. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Training Safety Officer (TSO) Program Goes to Kentucky

The Kentucky League of Cities and the Kentucky Center for Criminal Justice Training (CCJT) recently hosted a Training Safety Officer (TSO) class in Richmond, Kentucky. The new commissioner for the CCJT academy is Mark Filburn, who was previously the law enforcement coordinator for the Kentucky League. Mark is a believer in the TSO program and plans to implement it in all of their active training sessions.

The 60-65 students who attended were from the academy staff, as well as certified instructors from area police departments and sheriffs’ offices. After the classroom portion of the training, they worked in small groups to conduct a risk assessment of training sessions and of their training sites. Using that information, they prepared a safety briefing and a few were selected to present their briefing to the class.

We have learned that the safety briefing is the foundation for reducing and preventing injuries in law enforcement training. As with past classes, the briefings got better and better as they incorporated ideas from other presentations.

We have information on the program on our website at: If your region would like to schedule a class—or if you would like more information—contact me at (651) 281-1238 or

Up next: Registration Information on the Mental Health Fire Aid Classes for police Officers and EMS First Responders

Stay safe,