Employees at Wash. State Agency Get Sick From Mail

Employees at Wash. State Agency Get Sick From Mail

News Nov 21, 2012

Nov. 20--No harmful chemicals were found Tuesday afternoon at the Health Care Authority facility in downtown Olympia, hours after it was evacuated because several employees became ill after opening mail.

The incident was reported at 12:30 p.m. after four employees in the fifth-floor mail room reported smelling an odor after opening mail, said Washington State Patrol spokesman Paul Erdahl.

"They began to gag on an odor," he said.

Fifteen people reported having headaches, scratchy eyes and scratchy throats, said Olympia Deputy Fire Chief Greg Wright.

The State Patrol, Olympia Fire Department and ambulance crews were called to the scene. The downtown Olympia building's fifth floor was evacuated, followed by the entire building.

The mail was placed in a barrel and secured while employees left the building.

The mail was addressed only to the Health Care Authority, Erdahl said.

Employees affected by the odor were checked out by medics and allowed to go home about 3 p.m. while members of the State Patrol's SWAT team arrived to identify the substance. The building had been declared safe by 5 p.m., Erdahl said.

Detectives with the State Patrol Criminal Investigation Division were investigating, he said.

Chelsea Krotzer: 360-754-5476

Continue Reading




Copyright 2012 - The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)

The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)
Chelsea Krotzer
Leaders want to provide first responders with guidelines to follow when handling calls relating to human trafficking.
The study will assess Florida's Division of Emergency Management's response to Hurricane Irma and determine the lessons learned.
The state funding will provide 120,000 doses for first responders, including Pittsburgh park rangers.
The budget cut allowed the department to cross-staff, using firefighters to staff ambulances due to medical calls outnumbering fire calls.
Starting next year, the insurer will reimburse treatment that doesn’t require the emergency department.
One of the two Northern California wildfires have been fully contained due to cooler temperatures and light rain.
Kenneth Scheppke challenged longstanding traditions in patient care that have not withstood current scrutiny.

EMTs and other first responders who treated the wounded on scene of the Vegas shooting could be at risk for post-traumatic stress.

All EMS, fire, and law enforcement agencies in the county will participate in the drill along with 100 volunteers portraying victims of the shooting.
As the state begins facing the effects of the opioid crisis, medical professionals, law enforcement and prosecutors join the national discussion on possible solutions to the epidemic.
Only one of three in the country, the "rapid extrication team" assists in rescuing injured firefighters while local crews battle the forest fires.
The paramedic-staffed chase car would respond to ALS calls in a timelier manner and help alleviate several local fire departments' calls.
Las Vegas and Orlando massacres set a solemn tone for the normally festive event.
In a project to raise grant funding that began a year ago, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and VCU Health teamed up to provide 35 of Richmond’s Public Schools with Bleeding Control (BCON) equipment. 
Mercy Health's new two-story, 29,000 square foot center features a Level 1 trauma center, an expanded surgical area, and more comfortable patient and visitor access.