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Emergency Service Specialist Takes Initiative

CHEMTREC® Emergency Service Specialist Takes Initiative – And Makes a Difference

Every day, CHEMTREC receives hundreds of calls, regarding circumstances ranging from the trivial to the critical.  Every call is unique, and many of the more complex calls require initiative on the part of the Emergency Service Specialist who answers the call in order to bring resolution to the issue.

Recently, Traci Hopkins, a CHEMTREC veteran with over twenty years’ experience, received a call involving an infant who had ingested a well-known liquid adhesive remover.  After the family contacted the local poison control center and attempted to treat the child at home, the child was brought to the local emergency room in the middle of the night with deteriorating respiratory conditions. 

In order to properly assess the child’s condition, the ER nurse called CHEMTREC to find out the specific ingredients in the product.  Accessing CHEMTREC’s catalog of over four million material safety data sheets (MSDS), Ms. Hopkins was able to pull the MSDS for the specific product without delay. 

In an effort to obtain additional information about the product, Ms. Hopkins attempted to get in touch with the product manufacturer directly.  Initially unsuccessful, Ms. Hopkins took the initiative to contact the local police department in the city where the manufacturer was located.  A sergeant from the department was able to contact a company representative and within an hour of that call, the manufacturer provided CHEMTREC with the specific ingredients of the remover, which Ms. Hopkins passed along to the treating physician.  By having the knowledge of the specific ingredients in the mixture, the child received better treatment leading to a more stabilized condition.

While every call to CHEMTREC is important, some are more critical than others.  And while every critical call to CHEMTREC does not involve a life or death incident, some do.  And when they do, the resourcefulness of emergency service specialists like Traci Hopkins ensures that the right information is provided to the right people in time to make a difference.