Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meeting A Messenger On A Mission!

Blogger’s Note: In the very near future, I will be doing an in-depth blog on hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide exposures to firefighters. This blog centers around my meeting with one of the fire industry’s pre-eminent authorities on hazardous materials and especially the “Toxic Twins”.

I can’t remember ever posting a blog that included pictures, but I had the privilege of interviewing two stars at Fire Rescue International in Chicago last week. One interview was on the floor of the convention center and the other was done in the friendly confines of the FirefighterNetcast booth.

On the left side of the first picture, you have me. As you can see, I tried to dress to resemble my profile picture in my blog spots so that I would be readily recognizable. While I was at the FireRescue1 booth getting my free T-shirt, they had their website up on a big screen and wouldn’t you know it; they had the bloggers page up and on MY blog. In that picture of me, I am wearing a white shirt and tie. People in line were looking at the screen and looking at me. They did it a couple of times and then I took my hat off to screams of “that IS you”. True story. I still giggle when I think about it.

On the right side of the picture is Steven Pasquale, who has done Broadway, movies, released a jazz CD and also played Firefighter Sean Garrity for the entire run of the Denis Leary hit TV series “Rescue Me”. Steven’s star power was being lent to Meridian Medical’s rollout of the new Cyanokits®. I was thrilled when I was asked to interview him and his co-star, whom I will mention momentarily, but I was only allotted 15 minutes, so my questions had to be short and focused. But his handlers had never dealt with ChiefReason before, so I was able to get about 25 minutes with both of my guests.

And besides; I had my crew with me-John Mitchell and Rhett Fleitz, my producers and Willie Wines was our photographer. We had the manpower edge and used it to my advantage.

The gentleman in the middle of the photo is Rob Schnepp, simply an amazing man. Steven Pasquale is fascinating, but Rob is amazing. Knowing that I could not tap the surface of this man’s expertise in a 15 – 20 minute sound bite, I had Rob scheduled for an interview in the podcast booth.

None of this would have been possible without a lot of help and coordination from Shawn Longerich, Executive Director of Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition. Thank you, thank you, Shawn.

That said; let’s get back to it.

Rob has a passion. It is hazardous materials. Within that, he has a passion for the hazardous effects of smoke on civilians and firefighters. You literally turn on the EveryReady Bunny® when you ask him to talk about the effects of cyanide and carbon monoxide poisoning on firefighters. He is not Barney Fife with one bullet in his pocket; not even close! His resume’, his accomplishments and his published material is far and wide on topics of hazardous materials.

It makes perfect sense that Rob would be involved with the only FDA-approved cyanide antidote kit that is available in this country. We talked about the importance of quickly recognizing the symptoms of cyanide exposure, introducing the victims to the antidote and getting them to a hospital. Our time together flew by.

Don’t get me wrong; Steven Pasquale is a multi-talented entertainer and at 33 years old, he has accomplished more than many entertainers almost twice his age. I would compare him to Clint Eastwood, but Eastwood hasn’t done Broadway…yet! But then, Steven informed me that he doesn’t write, so they equal out and the comparison holds merit.

And Steven Pasquale’s appearance at Fire Rescue International on behalf of Meridian Medical makes sense. Steven clearly understood the importance of delivering cyanide antidote as quickly as possible, so his advocacy on behalf of firefighters is appreciated.

But, the “go to” guy for the Cyanokits® is Rob Schnepp. How they work, when to introduce them and the importance of pre-hospital care for symptoms of cyanide exposure are topics that are easily discussed with Rob.

We completed our work at Meridian’s booth, my production team left to return to the FirefighterNetcast booth and I hung around to get feedback. I found myself eyeball to eyeball with…Steven Pasquale. Honest to God; we stood there and talked for about 45 minutes on a wide range of topics and I might share those thoughts in a blog down the road.

Rob and Shawn showed up for the podcast at mid-morning. Rob would present on the topic of smoke to an afternoon audience.

The podcast went very well, but I feel that we merely scratched the surface of this man’s deep reservoir of knowledge, which is why I have every intention of having him on my show again in the near future. In the picture, Rob is again in the middle and FFNetcast producer John Mitchell is on the right.

Rob, keep spreading the word on the Toxic Twins, brother.

Even if that is one leader/one safety officer at a time.

The message is much too important to wait for some to come to their good senses.

The educational supplement “Smoke: Perceptions, Myths and Misunderstandings” from the Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition is must reading.

Oh; and remind me to tell you about my conversation with Bobby Halton.


The article is protected by federal copyright law under The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie© umbrella. It is written and submitted by Art Goodrich a.k.a. ChiefReason. This article or any other article submitted under The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie© umbrella cannot be reproduced in ANY form without the expressed, written permission of the author. Violations are punishable by applicable laws.
Please visit: and my blog
Blog Widget by LinkWithin
blog comments powered by Disqus
Web Analytics