INDIANAPOLIS, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Firefighter deaths due to heart attacks may not be due to bad diets, but from exposure to hydrogen cyanide in fire smoke. Nationally, six firefighters have literally dropped dead from heart attacks after coming off of a shift of smoky fires and more than 100 were treated or hospitalized for smoke inhalation since January 1.
"Any leader in the fire service who knowingly allows his/her firefighters to be negligent in the use of their SCBA should immediately quit. It is a staggering dereliction of duty to look the other way while the men and women we are supposed to be leading are allowed to inhale smoke that we know will poison them, asphyxiate them, increase the risk of cancer and will kill them," said Capt. Mike Gagliano, Seattle Fire Department.
This year the IAFC theme for Safety Stand Down is "Fit 4 Duty" which includes a variety of educational programs that reduce health and fitness-related deaths or injuries. The CPTC's Safety Stand Down program - Wear Your Air, Take a Shower & Wash Your Gear, sponsored by the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, can reduce health-related deaths and injuries - if it is used.
In a message to firefighters, Kevin Reilly, Ridgewood New Jersey Fire Department and president of the CPTC said, "Firefighting is inherently dangerous. With today's advancements in technology, training, and the proper use of PPE we can avoid unnecessary risks. Although acute smoke exposures are important to recognize, chronic exposures are often overlooked and preventable. I encourage all firefighters to use this training program. If you can't do it during Safety Stand Down, then schedule it soon."
"Smoke is something that reaches out and touches a firefighter on a regular basis for an entire career. It's critical that all firefighters know and understand how to protect themselves from acute and chronic smoke exposures, the importance of maintaining their personal protective equipment, and the hazards of fire smoke," said Rob Schnepp, Chief of Special Operations, Alameda County (CA) Fire Department. "It is my hope that during Safety Stand Down all firefighters will take just a moment to think about why it is so important to wear their air."
"Understanding [that] air is the only line of defense to hydrogen cyanide exposure should be the only incentive required to embrace air management protocols. This comprehensive program highlights the need for education and provides the instruction," said Shawn Longerich, executive director of the CPTC.
Wear Your Air, Take a Shower & Wash Your Gear is a free, turn-key training program that can be downloaded or accessed at www.FireSmoke.org.
The Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition is a nonprofit organization with a focus on prevention, protection, detection, diagnosis and treatment training programs relative to cyanide in fire smoke for the nation's first responders. For further information, please visit www.firesmoke.org.
This press release was issued through 24-7PressRelease.com. For further information, visit http://www.24-7pressrelease.com.
SOURCE Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition