Category Archives: Newsroom

NFSTC Notice: Fentanyl Precautions for Responders

Warning IconA barrage of recent news, headlined by the death of Prince, highlights the dangers of opioid-based painkillers and fentanyl in particular. Although prescription fentanyl is not new, versions of the drug are being created and sold outside the controls of normal pharmaceutical production and distribution, resulting in uncontrolled manufacturing, low cost, high availability, and extreme dosages of the drug. Unlike many illicit drugs, the fentanyl being found on the streets is lethal and can affect officers who do nothing more than handle the sample during a routine stop.

Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine Click To Tweet and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) heroin.

NFSTC believes widespread general precautions should be taken by all officers, evidence personnel and laboratory analysts who are at risk simply by their exposure to unknown powders and liquids.

Recommended General Precautions:
Fentanyl is manufactured in pill, powder, liquid and patch formats. Fentanyl has been found in heroin and other drugs, so its presence cannot be excluded just because it is not in a traditional form.

Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders and Evidence Personnel:
Proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):  Minimum PPE is advised for ALL DRUG-RELATED ENCOUNTERS includes gloves, mask and eye protection.

Processes and Protocol:
Due to the extreme toxicity of this substance in all forms, NFSTC recommends every agency conduct an immediate review of unknown powder and drug collection protocols and evidence processing.

  1. Do NOT open samples or containers that appear to be drugs without PPE. (Don’t know? Don’t open!)
  2. Do not perform any field-testing without PPE and, if possible, in a fume hood.
  3. Communicate with other first responders and emergency personnel when unknown or suspect material is present.

NFSTC believes it is imperative for personnel at every point in this process be properly trained and knowledgeable about the policies and protocols of their agency, and adhere to them.

For a printable page and resources, click here.

NFSTC expands in-house subject matter experts

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) has expanded their in-house subject matter expert capabilities with two new team members. The new hires will focus on an emerging sector of forensic science: digital evidence and forensics.

Stephanie Thompson brings nearly a decade of media exploitation (MEDEX) to her new position. Previously with the National Media Exploitation Center in Washington, DC, Thompson’s first-hand experience in triaging computers and digital devices will be beneficial to military trainees at NFSTC.

“I can teach our military and civilian students based on my real-world knowledge, not just how exploitation works in the textbooks,” explains Thompson. “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at NFSTC.”

Retired Army Sergeant First Class Rick Ruckman spent six years with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency focusing on counter-proliferation. Upon retirement, he operated as a Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) Field Service Technician and Trainer for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). At NFSTC, Ruckman will focus on cellular exploitation (CELLEX) instruction for military law enforcement.

NFSTC has been conducting exploitation training for the military since 2008. The company’s Largo office is now home to 27 employees, with a national employee count of 47.

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About NFSTC:

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) provides quality forensic services including training, consulting, technology evaluation to the justice, forensic science and defense communities.  NFSTC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Largo, Florida. www.nfstc.org

Morgan Spurlock goes inside NFSTC for CNN series

kevin lothridge and morgan spurlockMorgan Spurlock, award-winning documentary film maker, talks with the National Forensic Science Technology Center in tonight’s airing of the CNN original series “Inside Man.”

The series premiered its four season earlier this month. The episode “CSI: Spurlock” focuses on how crime scene investigations are conducted in the real world and the professional training available for law enforcement.

“This will be one of the few times I’ll say you can believe what you see on TV,” says Kevin Lothridge NFSTC CEO. “We were pleased to host Morgan and his crew and show them what’s it’s really like inside the CSI training community.”

morgan spurlock at nfstcAccording to promos for the episode, Spurlock also trains at the ATF facility in Alabama and visits a body farm in Texas.

Inside Man airs Friday, June 24, 2016 at 10 p.m. EST on CNN.

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About Warrior Poets Productions:
Warrior Poets is a New York based multiplatform production company founded in 2004 by Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.  Since its creation, Warrior Poets has produced multiple award winning films and television programs.  Films include One Direction: This Is Us, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, Mansome, Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? and Freakonomics.  Television projects include the award-winning FX series 30 Days, the IDA award-winning CNN series Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Showtime’s 7 Deadly Sins, ESPN’s The Dotted Line, Emmy and Writer’s Guild nominated The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3D on Ice! and Sky Atlantic HD’s Morgan Spurlock’s New Britannia. Digital projects include Hulu’s A Day in the Life, Yahoo’s Mansome, Failure Club,Losing It with John Stamos, AOL’s Connected and Refinery29 and Maker Studios’ What We Teach Girls. For additional information, please visit: http://warrior-poets.com.

About CNN Original Series:
The CNN Original Series group develops non-scripted programming for television via commissioned projects, acquisitions and in-house production. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees CNN Original Series and CNN Films for CNN Worldwide.  Lizzie Kerner, vice president of current programming, supervises production of all CNN Original Series.

About NFSTC:
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) provides quality forensic services including training, consulting, technology evaluation to the justice, forensic science and defense communities.  NFSTC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Largo, Florida. www.nfstc.org   

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NFSTC’s myth busting web series wins Communicator Award

online_video_silver_22Have you seen Fauxrensics yet? Our original web video series has been recognized with a Communicator Silver Award of Distinction by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. A win in this annual international competition is coveted by communications professionals the world over.

The Fauxrensics video series is designed to ask the question, “Real or Faux?” about forensic science and investigative techniques regularly shown in popular television crime dramas. They are commonly misrepresented and these short, fun videos help educate viewers on how the science works in the real world. The name was inspired by Tampa Bay Rays fans and their popular ‘fauxhawk’ hair style.

“Forensic science on TV is tricky. It’s grounded in science, which makes inaccurate portrayals very convincing to the average viewer. I thought this approach would be a fun way to reach and teach our non-scientist viewers,” says Bill Duffin, NFSTC senior media producer and creator of the concept. “Our core audience faces these misconceptions every day. But for many people, when it comes to forensic science, convincing TV isn’t always correct science.”

Watch the first five episodes on YouTube and look for four more in June, on ‘Fauxrensic Fridays,’ of course.

“People would never think to look to a forensic services company for video and media production, but it has become an integral offering for NFSTC and we do work for ourselves and many different clients,” says Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC CEO. “We are proud of our communications team and their consistently creative and effective materials.”

NFSTC also produces the monthly Forensic Update news video, Forensic Science Simplified (www.forensicsciencesimplified.org) and participates in National Forensic Science Week in August to provide online information and resources to educate the general public.

Your turn!
Have topics you’d like us to feature on Fauxrensics or the Forensic Update? Reach out to us at info@nfstc.org.

About The Communicator Awards:

CA_logo_color_transpThe Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals, sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. This year’s Communicator Awards received more than 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. Visit www.communicatorawards.com for to view the full winners list.

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Looking for space in Tampa Bay?

NFSTC Warehouse 2Your growing company can benefit from our move-in ready, flexible space available for lease. Join nearly a dozen other companies in the defense/forensic/security sector in a secure and convenient location.

New bio lab 1Features:

  • Up to 3,000 sf of administrative space
  • Six executive-style offices (12’x12’)
  • Wet lab space for biology and chemistry, with flexible space for science applications and safe handling of chemicals.
  • Up to 4,000 sf of air-conditioned high bay warehouse space–Perfect for technology development, testing and training
  • Shared use of six training and/or meeting rooms ranging in size from 350 to 1,200 sfNFSTC location-src Google Maps
  • On-site Facility Security Officer (FSO) services are available for an additional fee
  • Just 20 minutes from the Tampa Airport

All tenant companies enjoy:

  • Central reception
  • Visitor management
  • Janitorial services
  • Common area use and support

Take a virtual tour, then come out and see us in Largo, FL.
For more information and to visit the facility, call Bill Young at (727) 395-2511, ext 135 or email bill.young@nfstc.org.