Police, first responders train at mock meth lab - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Police, first responders train at mock meth lab

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SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Law enforcement officers and first responders from around the area spent Thursday at a mock methamphetamine lab, learning how to safely process the hazardous scene.

Police and firefighters from Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach, and other out-of-state organizations are taking the 40-hour training program at the Surfside Beach Fire House, where a fake "Shake and Bake"-style meth lab has been set up.
"Labs can be found in a wide array of places from cars to sheds, storage units or houses," stated Surfside Beach Fire Chief, Dan Cimini. "This training helps first responders identify, stabilize and break down commonly found labs. With this knowledge we will be able to safely mitigate hazards associated with meth labs."

Training course organizer Jake Kelton said the 'Shake and Bake" style is the most common and also the most dangerous because people cook the meth inside a bottle that contains the ingredients to make the drug.

"To diffuse them you have to vent off the ammonia," Said Kelton.  "They form a lot of high pressure and if they burst they catch fire and they explode."

Kelton also said meth use is on the rise not only because it is cheap to make, but also because it is one of the most addicting drugs out there.

"Meth has an extremely high addiction rate which is about a 96 percent," Added Kelton.

Last night Kelton bought the ingredients for today's class on the Grand Strand, but he said he noticed something when purchasing the ingredients that may signal our area has a growing meth problem.

"I had to go to three stores to find them which means either someone has a lot of bruises, or some one is using this stuff," Added Kelton.

This time of training course can also save taxpayers on the back end, said Myrtle Beach Fire Department Lt. Al Nord.

"In the past we had to wait for clean up companies to come in and contractors could come in and remove the hazards now we can do it in house," Said Nord.

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