Tobacco Cessation: Helping Those Who Want It

A friend of mine is facing a formidable foe by the name “Tobacco.” Few take on this opponent without an incredible battle. The person has sought support via Facebook, so I decided to share a tobacco story. Here’s that story.

Like many, I gave old man Tobacco a try as a youngster. After several inhalations, I nearly lost my lunch. Maybe that’s the secret to avoiding the old man, but he would get me in another way – for a while.

Firefighters get a bit nervous while sitting in the fire station waiting on the next call. Years ago – when I was a new firefighter – the common way to relieve that tension was Tobacco. Six of every ten Salina firefighters were smokers and there was no place in the fire station you couldn’t light up – including the kitchen table.

I was one of the four in ten non-users, but it’s fair to say that second-hand smoke had me taking in around a half-pack a day. A drive to work one morning changed things.

A radio national news reporter talked about a medical study that had recently been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study documented the adverse effects of second-hand smoke. I immediately recognized my opportunity.

I decided to write an anti-smoking petition. The petition asked for the entire fire station to be smoke free. It seemed like a good idea to ask for the whole and hope for a piece. Now you need to understand that this was early 1980’s – well before most buildings had smoking restrictions. The City of Salina had none.

I got a big percentage of the firefighters to sign the petition – even smokers. To everyone’s shock – including mine – the fire chief enacted my petition just as requested.

I was immediately about as popular as a diaper rash. Some eventually got over their hatred towards me, but some never did.

Over the years I have watched a number of my friends go through the withdrawal process of smoking cessation. I quit smoking another way.

Addictions have a strangle hold on many people. We need to help those that want it – users and bystanders.

Two Lucky Plumbers – The Importance of Shoring

The crew was placing a water supply pipe for a new home.  One worker was operating the backhoe and two other workers were working in the shoreless trench.

Typically, most trenches are pretty stable in ground like this that hasn’t been interrupted for some time.  The workers thought this was the case and their work commenced without shoring.

Ted was working at the exact point where the collapse took place.  He was leaning over when the slab of soil hit him.  his head was pushed down by his legs.  Lucky for Ted his body placement created an air pocket.

Bill was approximately twenty feet from Ted.  The collapse pinned Bill up to his lower mid-chest point.

Sam, the backhoe operator made the call for rescue.  Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter.  The firefighters were told by Bill that Ted was covered by dirt.  Ground pads and trench panels were placed in and around the trench.

As the rescue team centered on the point told by Bill, they faintly heard something.  It was Ted hollering for rescue.  Hand bucket after hand bucket of dirt was scooped from the trench where Ted’s voice was heard.

Finally, the top of Ted’s ball cap became visible.  An oxygen line was passed into space beside Ted’s head.  First the firefighters uncovered the soil area around Ted’s head.  From there it took another hour to finally remove Ted from his earthly tomb.  While Ted was being rescued Bill was also rescued.

This near fatality accident reinforces the importance of trench shoring.  This easily could’ve been a double fatality accident.  What it was, was two lucky plumbers.

*This accident happened in Salina back in the early 1990’s. 


Firefighter Cancer Prevention

By Lieutenant Coby Spear

The skin is the largest organ in the body and it absorbs chemicals just like taking oral medication.  During a structure fire, firefighters are exposed to carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, aldehydes, acid gases, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, styrene, metals and dioxins to name a few.

These chemicals cause cancer and firefighters are absorbing these chemicals into their skin during fire scenes. To reduce the risk of cancer, firefighters from the El Dorado Fire Department are sweating out the chemicals after the fire.

The fire department has partnered up with the YMCA to get the chance to detox and rehab after a fire incident has occurred. Watch the Youtube video to see how this process works. The picture of the white towels are an example of what our bodies absorb during a fire. The fireman who used the towels took showers before detoxing in the sauna.

This is the after product of the detox.



Fire Heavily Damages Home

Early this afternoon the occupant of a home in central El Dorado noticed a fire in the living room.  Before she could get the fire department notified the fire had spread to the front of the home, encompassing it entirely.

Upon arrival firefighters quickly got the fire under control, but not before it heavily damaged the home and its’ contents.

Red Cross was contacted to assist the family.

*More pictures to follow.