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Ohio Southern conduct simulated Fentanyl release as workforce training exercise [PHOTOS]

Activity is part of the campus opioid response effort

Ohio University Southern’s Ironton Campus hosted a simulated fentanyl release as part of a workforce training effort in Southeast Ohio. The event will involve a multi-disciplinary response team composed of students from Ohio Southern and Collins Career Technical Center.

“The activity is based on a case study from a recent fentanyl release at the Ross County Correctional Facility,” said Nicole Pennington, dean of the Southern Campus.

The training aligns with Southern’s RAPIDS grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). RAPIDS stands for Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills.

“Using our environmental health and safety mobile training unit (EVT) to prepare our pre-service professionals appropriate response to a hazardous incident helps meet a workforce training need in our region,” Pennington said.

Students from Southern and Collins will participate in a joint case study and lecture, then will participate in a hands-on training drill of a large-scale simulated fentanyl release. Students preparing for careers in nursing, law enforcement, forensics, electronic media, environmental technologies, and cosmetology will take part in the event. 

The RAPIDS grant, which funds the EVT mobile unit, is part of a regional response for workforce development of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Chancellor John Carey and others from ODHE will be on hand to witness the combined student event aimed at enhancing their future job skills.

“I’m extremely proud of the way these RAPIDS grants have been used to purchase equipment that will train students, keep them on a successful career pathway, and help regional businesses with workforce needs,” Chancellor Carey said. “This simulation at the Ironton Campus provides the opportunity to use the RAPIDS equipment while tackling a real-world problem that requires skilled and well-trained workers. I look forward to seeing the simulation in person, and I always welcome the opportunity to visit Lawrence County.”   

The training workshop and simulated response was conducted at Ohio University Southern’s Ironton Campus located at 1804 Liberty Avenue, Ironton, Ohio. 

Check out this video from the event

Group shot

Approximately 90 students, faculty, staff and community responders took part in the large-scale Fentanyl release simulation on Oct. 31, 2018.


Students provided haz mat scene assessment and assisted in transporting ‘victims’ during the simulated fentanyl release at the Riffe Center of Ohio University Southern during the training exercise.


Student nurses triaged the ‘victims’ involved in the Fentanyl release simulation.


Equipment funded by an Ohio Department of Higher Education grant was used in the simulated decontamination of the incident response team. The grant is part of the Regionally Aligned Priorities for Developing Skills initiative for Southeast Ohio.


Faculty from Collins Career Technical Center and Ohio University Southern mentored students through the fentanyl release simulation. Program areas involved from the two institutions included nursing, law enforcement technology, forensics, environmental health and safety, electronic media and cosmetology. 


The simulation was observed by Steve Dodgion, superintendent of Collins Career Technical Center; John Carey, chancellor of Ohio Department of Higher Education and Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio University Southern.