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December 9, 2016
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December 9, 2016

Handheld device speeds up substance identification in Delaware County

The week before Thanksgiving, Delaware County Emergency Services received a call about a mysterious white powder.

“It didn’t make the paper; it wasn’t a big deal,” said Jason Rogers, director of  Delaware County EMS.

Recently, Delaware County requested a grant for a device that made this white powder call so low key.

The white powder ended up being cornstarch; the EMS responders determined that in about five seconds.

This $83,000 technology, called First Defender Ramin Spectroscopy Unit, is a quick and safe way to test what is in an unknown substance.

According to the device’s creator, Thermo Fisher Scientific, the device “enables hazmat, law enforcement, military and other first responders to obtain accurate identification of chemicals, explosives and hazardous materials in seconds, even through sealed translucent containers.”

Basically, the device can detect various drugs, such as meth or heroine, explosive substances and other potentially harmful materials.

Rogers was one of the people who requested the grant for this piece of equipment.

“It was really built for the military,” Rogers said. “We sent our people to several different training programs all across the country…and we heard about it.”

Before Delaware County got its new device, Rogers found out that there was only one of them in the state.

With the other device being in the hands of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Delaware County is planning to share this device with neighboring counties, as it is a quick way to find out what is in an unknown substance.

“The Ramin counts the particles with a laser beam, through some sort of ‘hocus-pocus’ magic,” Rogers said. “It’s very, very easy…and it takes the guesswork out.

Jud Fisher and the Ball Brothers Foundation

The final installation of Unmasked: the Stigma of Meth centers on the Ball Brothers Foundation, a philanthropic organization that operates within Delaware County. Nearly every outreach initiative or modern program to eradicate meth ties back to them. (by Nick Siano)

It has around a 16,000 chemical compound library system,” Rogers said. “It’s off-the-hook cool.”

With Delaware County’s meth situation, this new device is getting a lot of use.

“We have identified a need because we’re being used more,” Rogers said. “[This device] is a luxury for us.”

Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of the Ball Brother’s Foundation, heavily involved himself with developing grants to help with the meth issue in Delaware County.

“We’ve done a lot of grants that help, either directly or indirectly with the meth issue and other drug issues,” Fisher said.

“It was really built for the military,” Rogers said. “We sent our people to several different training programs all across the country…and we heard about it.”

Before Delaware County got its new device, Rogers found out that there was only one of them in the state.

With the other device being in the hands of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Delaware County is planning to share this device with neighboring counties, as it is a quick way to find out what is in an unknown substance.

“The Ramin counts the particles with a laser beam, through some sort of ‘hocus-pocus’ magic,” Rogers said. “It’s very, very easy…and it takes the guesswork out.

It has around a 16,000 chemical compound library system,” Rogers said. “It’s off-the-hook cool.”

With Delaware County’s meth situation, this new device is getting a lot of use.

“We have identified a need because we’re being used more,” Rogers said. “[This device] is a luxury for us.”

Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of the Ball Brother’s Foundation, heavily involved himself with developing grants to help with the meth issue in Delaware County.

“We’ve done a lot of grants that help, either directly or indirectly with the meth issue and other drug issues,” Fisher said.

These grants have mostly helped purchase new and safe equipment for first responders.

“Officers and [first responders] in our community go into these houses not protected and taking so many chances with chemicals from the meth being cooked affecting them,” Fisher said. “We wanted to make them more confident, and hopefully help them to keep their morale up.”

Rogers and the people who work for the Delaware County EMS are extremely grateful to be able to have this time saving and possibly life-saving device.

“It’s a luxury that we would never have without [Ball Brothers,]” Rogers said.

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