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Arlington firefighters recognized for saving disabled man from burning home

Firefighters were recognized Wednesday for saving the life of a victim of smoke inhalation using Cyanokit, which removes cyanide and carbon monoxide from the body.

Firefighters and paramedics responded to a house fire in Arlington on May 22, summoned by disabled homeowner Willie George Jr. Call-takers with 911 lost contact with George during the call.

Responders made their way into the home, found George unconscious in a wheelchair and used Cyanokit to save his life. The quick rescue and subsequent treatment by crews resulted in the patient’s full recovery.

Arlington Fire Rescue bought the treatment kit last year, becoming the first Fire Department in North Texas to do so. It has been used to save three lives.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Cyanokit, which comprises the drug hydroxocobalamin, intravenous tubing and a sterile spike for reconstituting the drug with saline, in December 2006 for the treatment of cyanide poisoning. The approval, which was based on animal testing, improved the nation’s ability to respond to emergencies, including a potential terrorist attack, the agency said at the time.