BREAKING NEWS - July 2, 2019 - Tuesday, Suspected Hazardous Package Incident at Facebook comes to an end 14 hours after it started.
Pictured above – Members of the San Mateo County Haz-Mat Team in Red, along with CST Members in yellow, are decontaminated by Menlo Park Firefighters in white after entering the Facebook Mail and Package facility for the first time at 6.45 pm. - Credit Menlo Fire
Menlo Park Fire Protection District – Facebook Headquarters
Suspected Hazardous Package Incident at Facebook comes to an end 14 hours after it started.
Update – 1 am
At 1058 am today, San Mateo County Public Safety Communications Center (PSC) received a report that suspicious package had arrived at Facebooks mail and package facility located on Hamilton Court in the City of Menlo Park. Specifically, the caller reported that “the package was suspected to contain a chemical agent inside, two people may have been exposed and the suspected agent could be GB Sarin”.
The normal Facebook Fire first response units were tied up at a homeless encampment fire at the time, so Menlo Engine 5 with Captain Roy Trester and crew were initially deployed on a medical incident and arrived on-scene at 1102 am.
Captain Trester and the crew of Engine 5 met directly with involved Facebook employees. Captain Trester radioed “we have a reported positive hit for Sarin, there is no medical component and I am requesting a full Hazardous Materials Response.” Trester also made sure the building was evacuated, which was confirmed by Facebook security and involved about a dozen employees.
San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department, or the Counties Hazardous Materials Response Unit arrived on-scene at 1126 am followed by County OES and Environmental Health by noon. Menlo Fire Battalion Chief Tom Calvert, who was the incident commander, met with all parties once they arrived on-scene to establish a course of action.
After assessing all of the circumstances, the United States Postal Service and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) were requested because the suspected “package”, had been mailed via the US Postal System. Both of those groups arrived on-scene between 2 and 3 pm.
Once on-scene, the larger group discussed each agencies capabilities, needs and role. It was determined that the California National Guards Civil Support Team (CST) out of Hayward, whose specialty is in dealing with Chemical, Biological and Radiological incidents, should be requested to respond and were. They arrived on-scene around 5 pm.
The combined San Mateo County Hazardous Materials Team and Cal-Guard CST Team jointly entered the structure at 6 pm clearing each room until surveying and testing the “package” in question. They exited the structure at 6.43 pm and were decontaminated.
The second entry of the building occurred after 10.30 pm Monday, using more sophisticated detection equipment. The entry Team also recovered the suspected package in question and placed it in a mobile containment device, removing it from the structure and site. Processing each test sample can take hours and the operation will not be complete until sometime Tuesday.
Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “this event was contained to the structure of origin and did not present a threat to the broader community. Earlier reports of two individuals exposed and in need of medical attention were false. Out of an abundance of caution, the Fire crews and other agencies on-scene took a very methodical and careful approach to how this event was handled. Operations were ultimately terminated with the removal of the suspected item in question after 1 am Tuesday, 14 hours after this incident started. Facebook will be issuing a public statement Tuesday as to the final analysis of the item in question and this incident will be discussed at our regular meetings with Facebook’s Emergency Response Group.”
UPDATE – 1 am – Photographs
Pictured below – Menlo Park Firefighters decontaminate themselves and then breakdown the decontamination area after the primary entry and back up teams were decontaminated for a second time - Credit Menlo Fire
Pictured below – Menlo Park Fire District Division Chief Mike Shaffer and Menlo Park Police Sargent Dickson look on as Fire crews and other responders wind down operations at Facebook after a fourteen hour investigation related to a suspicious package - Credit Menlo Fire
Pictured below – Aerial footage of the staging area, entry point and decontamination areas – Credit Menlo Fire UAS/Drone Program.
Pictured below – Menlo Park Fire Engineer Martin Mijangos and others, prepares to be part of the decontamination team who will carefully make sure the entry team is thoroughly cleaned before taking off their Level A exposure suits.- Credit Menlo Fire
Pictured below – Firefighters and others conduct a briefing prior to re-entering the Facebook Mail and Package facility for a second time. - Credit Menlo Fire
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