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Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition

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Firefighter Will Perform 100 Skydives in Memory of Smoke Inhalation Victims

Joe Frolick, avid skydiver and professional firefighter, will combine his love of skydiving and passion for the fire service by performing 100 consecutive skydives on September 4, 2009. Joe’s desire to accomplish his mission is to bring attention to much needed education regarding smoke inhalation fatalities and the need for continued research and program development to save the lives of firefighters and civilians alike.

Indianapolis, IN, August 01, 2009 --( Event creates awareness about smoke inhalation deaths, prevention and treatment for firefighters

Firefighter Joe Frolick, Wayne Township Fire Department, will attempt to set the record for the most consecutive skydives in Lebanon, Ohio on September 4, 2009 by performing 100 consecutive jumps in an event known as “100 Reasons.” This event is about supporting research that is developing effective interventions for smoke inhalation and educational programs sponsored by the Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition.

“If commercial flying had as many civilian fatalities as those relating to smoke and fire, there would be a public revolt,” said Rob Schnepp, CPTC president and assistant chief of special operations for the Alameda County Fire Department in California. “The numbers aren’t going down, and this tells me that we aren’t addressing the problem adequately.”

To emphasize Joe’s mission, the Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition will host the 1st Annual Midwest Smoke Symposium that will provide free training to 100 firefighters with a focus on fire ground smoke inhalation, prevention, diagnosis and the use of the preferred antidotal treatment for smoke inhalation which can most assuredly save lives if cyanide toxicity is diagnosed.

“Raising awareness and getting training, combined with new national fire standards and tools to diagnose and treat cyanide and carbon monoxide exposure, should dramatically increase the survivability of firefighters and civilians exposed to these toxins and decrease the harmful long-term health problems that show up in the form of heart disease,” said Kevin Reilly, author of the SMOKE article on proper air management at the fire scene and emergency breathing techniques.

“What we have in our homes today is very different from 10 years ago. Today we have laminates, foam cushions, mattresses and bedding made of synthetics and with chemical fire retardants, plastics, acrylics – all which emit hydrogen cyanide during the combustion process,” said Shawn Longerich, executive director of the CPTC. “We are very good at recognizing and treating carbon monoxide poisoning, but we have to start recognizing that cyanide poisoning can be an even bigger issue. Once we do that, we can get serious about diagnostic testing through tissue toxicology and antidotal treatment.”

Smoke inhalation is far more deadly than ever before. No longer can we be focused on carbon monoxide as the deadly culprit in fire smoke. The new toxin on the block is hydrogen cyanide and when mixed with carbon monoxide they become the Toxic Twins. While carbon monoxide kills the blood, cyanide kills the organs. “As a society we should no longer be accepting of smoke inhalation death statistics. It’s time to take the matter seriously and understand that smoke inhalation can be treated … but one must know that to effectively treat smoke inhalation, cyanide exposure must be factored into treatment protocol,” said Longerich.

Those who have died from smoke inhalation will be memorialized during the event. Families are encouraged to submit photos of loved-ones to the CPTC to include in a wall-size collage that will be constructed for the event. For more information, please visit


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­About the CPTC
The Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit comprised of fire service organizations, firefighters, and physicians. Through joint strategic initiatives to focus the required attention and resources on the issues, the CPTC aims to increase awareness about the risk of fire smoke cyanide exposure to improve early recognition and appropriate treatment for firefighters and EMS personnel. The CPTC has been on the cutting edge of fire smoke cyanide exposure and treatment protocols since 2005. Appropriate recognition of the signs and symptoms of cyanide toxicity, as well as a comprehensive understanding of treatment and antidotes, is the educational objective of the CPTC.
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Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition
Shawn Longerich

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