The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 17, 2013

Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department gets new fire, chemical protective suits

Staff Writer

JEFFERSON — The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department recently purchased six fire resistant chemical suits for deputies assigned to site safety and Clandestine Drug Lab remediation.

The purchase was made possible with the assistance of the Ashtabula County Prosecutor’s Office.

County Prosecutor Tom Sartini provided $10,000, from his law enforcement trust fund, to assist with the purchase of the suits.

The total cost of the suits was $11,300, said Lt. Terry Moisio.

Sartini said he was very happy to do it.

“It’s obviously needed in this county,” he said.

Sartini said his office is very active in trying to get as much forfeiture money as it can from criminal cases.

“The more we get the more things like this we can do,” he said. “We do what we can.”

Det. Taylor Cleveland said the department had suits to protect deputies from chemicals, but since the method of manufacturing methamphetamine has changed to a one-pot method, deputies have seen a number of explosions because of these labs.

“Technicians have seen them explode during the clean-up process,” he said.

The new suits will protect deputies from chemical, biological and hazardous materials as well as being flame resistant.

The suits are one-piece jumpsuits that cover the entire body from including the head and hands.

Deputies also wear an additional pair of gloves over the suits.

The department will also purchase fire protective boots for the suits as well, Moisio said.

“These suits are very important for the safety of deputies who are responding to an remediating methamphetamine labs and other hazardous drug sites where chemicals used in the manufacture of these illegal narcotics are involved,” he said. “The risk of fire or explosion is always present when deputies are investigating and dismantling these labs.”