Working through the pain: OC spray

InTheWeeds

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So our regional SORT (Spec Ops Response Team) team tryouts are coming up soon and on of the biggest obstacles in the tryouts is OC and CS. We will be doused with OC (10%) and have to do various tasks (fighting, opening doors, baton strikes and handcuffing). As for the CS, we will have to practice cell extractions without a mask and also don the mask while the smoke is flowing.
I know there are some people who are tolerant to the effects these chemical agents and I was just curious if it was due to a natural high tolerance to pain or if they are just constantly exposed to it to the point where the effect is minimalized. Our jail has a batch of 5.5% OC that is about to expire and they are willing to let us train with it and I was curious if the constant exposure to it would help build a tolerance?
 

MinorDamage

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Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

I don't know if you can gain a relative immunity to it, but I have been through both. I did the Gas Chamber for Damage Control training and OC for VBSS. I'm a Navy guy (squid). I can tell you that I was affected by both. I had a lot more snot to show during the gas chamber (CS), but the OC was infinitely more painful. I would eat a 3 course meal on the floor of the CS chamber before getting OC'd again. Once you exit the gas chamber you immediately start off-gassing and regain some sort of normalcy. I had a funny feeling in my lungs for about a day after, but nothing major.

The OC stayed with me for a good 4 hours following the spray down. DO NOT just hop in the shower to get the OC off! Make sure you turn on the water and HANG OVER! the last thing you want is OC on your boys. This may sound funny, but milk seemed to help everyone a couple weeks after I went through. We ran the same type of defensive obstacle course after getting sprayed that you describe. I observed the next group a couple weeks later and watched guys douse their face in milk afterward. They definitely seemed to recover quicker. Baby shampoo/wash was another big help.

Lastly, once you have rinsed your face...let it DRY! Do not keep dabbing it as the fire returns. It opens your pores back up and causes reflash! Just press through the pain and let it subside naturally. I am glad I experienced it, but it is nothing I would really volunteer for again.

PM me if you have any other questions.

Josh
 

InTheWeeds

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Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

Well I have already been through both OC and CS, but only in a controlled environment. What I am trying to figure out is if there is some way to block the pain, build tolerance, or some special method of trying to achieve a task while exposed to it. From what I have been told, the tryouts are basically a week long. Two days of it involve direct OC exposure and four out the five days involve CS exposure with or without a mask. The CS doesnt really bother my skin as much as my ability to breath or see. The OC is what I am more worried about because of the inability to open my eyes and the feeling of my throat swelling up and closing.
 

Hateca

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  • Aug 12, 2004
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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: In da weeds</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well I have already been through both OC and CS, but only in a controlled environment. What I am trying to figure out is if there is some way to block the pain, build tolerance, or some special method of trying to achieve a task while exposed to it. From what I have been told, the tryouts are basically a week long. Two days of it involve direct OC exposure and four out the five days involve CS exposure with or without a mask. The CS doesnt really bother my skin as much as my ability to breath or see. The OC is what I am more worried about because of the inability to open my eyes and the feeling of my throat swelling up and closing. </div></div>

    None that I have ever seen...well except for that one guy that was dusted, but he was oblivious to the pain of baton strikes as well.
     

    bachelorjack

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    It's all a dirty trick really. It sucks for EVERYONE. But so do a lot of things.

    It's a building character, what do you do with the suck sort of thing. Focus on something else and work through it. That's the point of the exercise...
     

    jrhammons

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    Weeds- IT SUCKS..I would take taser or being shot over OC again. Some people have a natural tolerance and there is nothing you can do.You may want to buy some RESCUE detox spray. Are they going to use aresol or jel? Baby shampoo will be your best friend, wear a doorag if they let you to minimalize it in your hair. Take a shower leaning backwards for at least a day afterward. I sat in front a fan on full speed holding my eyes open after the wash for about an hour and I was fine.
     

    marduk185

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    i know that i seemed to be much less affected by both than some and im sure it has to do with multiple factors. it might sound strange but if i were you id hit the pool and do alot of underwater swimming and heres my thinking.
    1) these chemicals actually agravate the bodies way of expelling toxins from respitory system. some folks may have a naturally less vulnerable system in this respect and not produce as much mucous to counter it, but one cant really change this.
    2) nerves, if you remain calm even under stressful "scary" type environments your breathing can remain shallow and thus less vulnerable to the irritant.
    3) pain threshold probably is a part of this equation but if you're in good shape and of calm mind you can maintain shallow to no breathing for long enuf to complete necessary actions without producing so much mucous as to render your self inneffective and without passing out from holding your breath to much. focus on goals not the cs or oc. it seems to me that the same skills used to go long distances under water in the pool would help train the mind for gas.
    jmho.
    ps- maybe try underwater knot tying? do like sheep shank then square knot then clove hitch etc.
     

    Switchblade

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    'Working through CS' hahahahahaha, yeah, ok
    grin.gif


    Don't know who's working your gas chamber but I have never been in one that anyone was able to work through upon exit. As to the OC spray, mix some pineapple juice and water together with a little soap and have fresh cleran water to rince with. The sugars in the pineapple juice instantly neutralize the capsian in the OC. Works for eating hot peppers or really spicy food too.

    CS when used in high doses causes bronchial and asthmatic trauma. In older people or small children it can be deadly(Waco).
    I have seen many Soldiers exit from a OC chamber and fall straight into the medic's vehice with severe breathing problems. Some would say a chamber that had a wispy smoke within was good enough but we never used ours unless it was equal to heavy smoke and one could not see 3' forward. No one works through it.
    Little street doses, wellll, maybe a mask, maybe not, goggles definatley
    grin.gif
     

    shark0311

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    I think it's just one of those situations where you are going to have to make a choice. You are either going to do it regardless of the consequences or your not.
     

    GardDog

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    My initial employer certified us in one brand of OC/CS spray. My current employer required exposure to their preferred brand of CS. Yayy!!! I got to have double the fun. In both experiences, I volunteered to go first and get it over with. Watching 10-15 guys go before you will not make it any easier.


    For a specialized unit training, we had to go through the CS chamber. Nothing can build you a tolerance to that.
     

    marduk185

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    just in addition to my earlier comment, youre not gonna build up a tolerance to anything, what you can do is greatly enhance your personal ability to deal with and function under oxygen depridation type scenarios while maintaining logic and orientation,thusly mitigating some of the inherent negative effect. dont panic. panic will increase breathing rate and oxygen need actually increasing the effectiveness of the gas to screw up your respitory system. in any case...its a suck it up and deal situation.
     

    Parallax

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    Among my interesting bag of tricks,I have been a "chemical munitions and delivery systems instructor" for about 20 years. I am also a certified expert witness in same.

    OC is not a true chemical agent. It is an irritant. It's effectiveness is generally measured by the rated "Scoville Heat Units" associated with it's make-up. The most effective law enforcement OC is generally rated between 5 million and 5.3 million SHU's. Formerly, when first introduced, it was generally rated at 60,000 SHU's ... none were over 1 million SHU's until the chemical processing of the material improved. The 5% or 10% manufacture talk is generally pure BS. A 10% formulation isn't necessarily hotter or better then another's 5% formula. What you need to know is the SHU rating.... not all OC formulations are the same. Same goes for water based carrier or chemical based carriers ... water (generally a "streaming" projector) based OC's are not as effective as they concentrate on only the effect on the eyes. The "fogging" projectors are far better as they atomize and are more effective on the respiratory system as well. "Foggers" generally use a chemical substance that quickly evaporates leaving the agent to "blow around" on the target. The biggest problem is with collateral contamination when using these... but they work well and are a MF'er.

    If you smell "apple blossom" like odor better mask up... CN agent smells like apple blossoms. CS has a sort of chemically pepper or bitter odor. CS is roughly 10 times more effective then CN... <span style="text-decoration: underline">and will penetrate plastics (contact lenses)</span> ... you may buy a 711 store if you fill it with CS 'cause it will penetrate all the plastic food wrappers etc....

    Having been exposed so many times to these agents (and others), when used properly they all work well. One of the big things I train "gas passers in is selection of correct agents and the tactics of proper employment of that particular agent or delivery system... when and how to best use it. Most people simply try whatever they have haphazzardly and poorly and then bitch when it don't work the way they want (Waco).

    OC is a bitch, it hurts. If it gets in your lungs it's really a bastard and you will cough like a fuel starved car. CS is equally bad... the only way you will ever get a "good" dose of CS is to be in a gas house with it. It's human nature to avoid it otherwise...unless you are captive.

    The most effectiveness with any of the chemical agents is the psychological effects (panic) caused. That's why exposure drills are necessary... once you know it likely won't kill you (unless you approach it's LCT50), you can get through it.

    BTW... regarding CN and CS. 1 in 1000 people have an allergy to it. Some reactions can be deadly to even small amounts. Every officer that thinks they may ever be exposed to either should have a "tape test" reaction test before training. It can save your life... and lots of embarassment.

     

    mexicanmatch

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    A SF friend of mine told me if i ever get sprayed with oc to spit in my hand and rub it in my eyes once or twice. Says it takes away alot of the sting,better then water. Never tried it but i trust him.
     

    GardDog

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    The guys at the PD where I first got exposed to Freeze +P put milk over ice in a cooler. The theory was that the milk somehow cut the power of the capsicum. I never heard about the spit theory. The only proven things I know that work are fresh air and time.
     

    Phylodog

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    Some folks seem to tolerate OC & CS better than others. I can tolerate OC fairly well and can continue to fight, handcuff, etc although with my eyes closed (admittedly not terribly effective).

    CS is another beast entirely for me. I have been exposed numerous times and been through a gas house on three occasions and I have yet to be able to force myself to take a breath while in that environment. While I haven't tested it I truly believe that I would have to lose consciousness before I could continue to breath with that crap in the air.
     

    SniperCJ

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    I got news for you, 5.5%, 10%, it dont really matter. When your pain receptors have had enuf, theyve had enuf. You wont be able to tell the difference.

    As for 'building tolerance', good luck with THAT project.
     

    koobs84

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    You can't build up a tolerance to it.. Some people handle the pain better than others. I've witnessed a few friends break down into a complete panic attack, ripping their clothes off, and taken away by EMS. For me it was very painful and breathing was difficult, but I was able to continue fighting.

    What you can train is to stay focus and not lose your cool. Pay attention to your breathing. That was the difficult part for me. If I focused to hard on my breathing, I would panic and begin feeling like I couldn't breathe. Pouring water on my face did not help the situation either.

    What worked for me was staring directly into a fan and letting it completely dry off. Water only activates it... so spitting or anything else just makes it worse.
     

    Lowe Left

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    I've experienced both. OC lasts about 45 minutes. The guy that sprayed me kept the stream on long enough that I could feel it run to my crotch before the, "open your eyes!" command. After fighting the perp to the ground, I used one hand to pry one eye open and got em proned out. I've heard some people are somewhat immune to it and that's why you, as the sprayer, must be able to overcome the affects and save lives in case you inadvertently get douched. If the next job is your goal, I'd go through it again and take the recommendations for relief given here. If there are a lot of people getting sprayed, you must get away from the instant relief of the fan and just deal with the burning. I walked into the little breeze we had so others that were REALLY freaking out could have a fan. I know this, I got re-flash all over my body during the shower and in the corners of my eyes the following morning @ 0530 during a 4 mile run in the humidity so be prepared if you've got more training the next day. That pineapple recommendation is interesting and sounds like it may work. Hey, make a pair of glasses out of some pineapple rings!!
     

    ArcticLight

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    OleoResin capsicum, YUM!

    I got sprayed during the academy, it was no worse than the CS in basic training.

    It sucked, it worked against me, my thigh muscles failed, it burned but the fan method definitely worked - as same with the CS in basic.

    There was a guy we sprayed years ago, of "Mexican" heritage, it didn't even phase him -so you can build a tolerance....if you eat Cayenne peppers all of your life.
     

    ArcticLight

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    Re: Working through the pain: OC spray

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: GardDog223</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The guys at the PD where I first got exposed to Freeze +P put milk over ice in a cooler. The theory was that the milk somehow cut the power of the capsicum. I never heard about the spit theory. The only proven things I know that work are fresh air and time. </div></div>

    Milk is a base, I think about -2.5 on the PH scale, OleoResin Capsicum is an acid, about 3 or 4 on teh PH scale I think.

    -2.5 + 4 = + 1.5 Thus nuetralizes, but not completely.

    It does work, think Mythbusters did the scientific analysis with it, as far as chemical properties but it was related to eating a pepper, not being sprayed by one.

    Example was, and I bet my college roommate, take one Molar of Hydrochloric acid, and one Molar of shit what's the other chemical - anyway bottom line is that produced pure salt water when it was done.

    The result of an acid with a base is salt.
    smile.gif