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Donation to local fire departments to fund purchase of life-saving tool

Published: Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 4:05 p.m. CDT

Several local fire departments recently received a donation funding the purchase of additional Cyanokits, an on-site remedy used to treat smoke inhalation.

On Aug. 12, the DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund of the DuPage Community Foundation presented the fire departments with a $6,000 check to fund the purchase and replacement of Cyanokits used to treat victims suffering from hydrogen cyanide poisoning – a potentially lethal toxin found in smoke that stems from structure fires.

Lisle‐Woodridge Fire District, Bolingbrook Fire Department, Naperville Fire Department and the Downers Grove Fire Department were represented during the ceremony.

Collectively, the four departments represent Mutual Aid Box Alarm (MABAS) Division 16.

Bolingbrook Fire Department EMS Assistant Director Jim Gray initiated the implementation of the Cyanokits after researching the effects of hydrogen cyanide on the body. Gray's research discovered that Cyanokits are the only approved FDA treatment for cyanide poisoning and have been used in the United States since 2007.

Gray then worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Edward Hospital Emergency Medical System and the Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency Medical System to obtain approval for use of the antidote.

MABAS Division 16 Fire Departments are the first and the only emergency medical care providers in Illinois to use the antidote.

Since the kits' approval, a Bolingbrook resident was pulled from residential structure fire and treated with the Cyanokit. The victim was later discharged and returned home.

For more information about the DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund, visit: www.dmgcharitablefund.org

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