Schools, gyms, hospitals, locker rooms, day care facilities, firehouses, the average home.
Just a few of the places superbugs like MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylycocous aureus) has been found lurking in significant quantities. What's the big deal with MRSA? Perhaps you've heard of something called a STAPH infection. Well, MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant STAPH bug, which can lead to an antibiotic-resistant STAPH infection. Many of these are life-threatening.
Besides MRSA there are many other superbugs. Take the contagious, antibiotic-resistant CRE for example. A recent study published in the medical journal, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, revealed that cases of CRE increased five-fold in community hospitals from 2008 to 2012 in the Southeastern U.S. And often times, hospitals aren't required to report infection-related deaths. However, the last CDC Study revealed that 18,000 people in the US were killed by infections in 2005. Today, that number is probably much higher.
Superbugs truly are a silent killer. Not just because they're on a microscopic scale and thus it's easy to pick up an infection, but because a large number of people in the world don't know they exist. If you asked a random person on the street, they probably have never heard of it. But they probably saw what Iggy Azalea last tweeted.
And that is part of the problem. The less that people know about it, the less pressure there is on leading figures to lay down an action plan to address it. It also means that people aren't taking steps to protect themselves against this unknown danger. Washing hands can sure lower your risk, but hand soap isn't going to do much against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
However, there are proven killers of these superbugs and other serious viruses. The same journal that published the report mentioned above, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, confirmed in a separate study that ozone is an effective killer of MRSA, as well as a host of other fungi, viruses, and bacterium. In hotels, schools, daycares, and hospitals, ozone can be used to disinfect entire rooms. Athletes can use ozone to disinfect their hockey, football, lacrosse, and motocross gear. And firefighters can disinfect their bunker gear, or police can disinfect Kevlar vests and tactical suits.
For the majority of us average human beings here on earth, work is something we have to do. It pays the bills, and it puts food on the table. Not many people have a job that they love, so once our shift is over, we rush home to take care of important things. Like eating Doritos and watching Duck Dynasty for 4 hours. We barely get through the 9-5, so when it comes to working overtime, our boss better not even think about asking. It's just not gonna happen.
"Sure boss, I can come in at Never o'clock. Does Never o'clock sound good to you?"
But when it comes to being a firefighter, there is no 9-5. It is a 24/7 death-dodging profession. And while most of us would try to pepper spray Overtime in the face if we could, firefighters jump into beast mode even when they're off the clock. There are countless acts of heroism performed by firefighters every day around the world, so naturally we can't showcase them all.
But below are just a few...
3. Robert Puttick Gets Electrocuted, Simply Doesn't Care
Imagine you have just smashed your vehicle into a pole on the side of a county road. You try to get out, but every time you touch the car's frame, you are shocked. That's because the hydro lines from the pole you decided to chop down with your crossover are now laying underneath your car, sending electricity coursing through the vehicle. This was the scene in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada in August 2010.
But then help arrived by the form of off-duty firefighter Robert Puttick.
Otherwise known as Captain Awesome.
Robert sprang into action right away. Wearing just his casual clothes, he ran to the car, grabbed the driver's door... and was instantly shocked by about 115,000 volts. He hadn't noticed the wires underneath, and the lady inside was apparently to busy to inform him. But Robert didn't volunteer for 10 years just to let a little electric tickle stop him. He ran to the passenger side, where the door had swung open after the crash, had the driver kneel on the seat, and scooped her up and ran from the car... seconds before it burst into flames.
The woman sustained no injuries, and Robert Puttick went home a hero, with the satisfaction of knowing he no longer needs to fear lightning storms.
2. Firefighters Save Guy From Fire... 3 Times
Daniel DiRobbio of Warwick, Rhode Island, USA decided to go for a nice off-duty drive one night in January 2010.
"Yeppers, just going for a nice off-duty drive. No duties to worry about tonight. I would, if I was on-duty.
But I'm not. I'm off-duty. Zero duties to worry about."
But life for a firefighter just isn't that relaxing. As he was driving he saw heavy smoke pouring out of a two-floor house. He phoned in the fire (after jumping out of his moving vehicle, probably), and began banging on the door, waking up the two residents and their children, and getting them out safe and sound. The end! Not. As the other firefighters arrived, Daniel turned around and realized the father had run back inside to try to put out the fire himself. Because what do firefighters know about fighting fires.
So they marched up there and dragged him back outside to safety. The end! Oh if only. As they tried to do their job of putting out the dang fire, the man ran inside the house again! They then muttered something like "Strike three", left the property, and went back to the station to watch Backdraft on loop. No, because they're good people, the firefighters grabbed him yet again, and brought him out of the burning building. Hopefully, they followed this up by giving him a thorough rinse with their fire hoses.
Like this, but with more lesson-teaching velocity.
So please, if you are ever in a burning building and firefighters decide to save you and your family in their spare time, just do them a favour and stay saved.
1. Michael Marino Dives Into Flooded Tunnel
Lauren Ostberg, via The Somerville Times
In July 2010, the greater Boston area was hit by flash floods, including nearby Somerville. Christine Broderick was in the Fellsway Tunnel at the time, and had nowhere to go as the waters picked up her car and spun it in circles. The tunnel filled up with 18 feet of water and went pitch black as she managed to climb onto the roof of her car. Being unable to swim, she began screaming for help. And that's when off-duty firefighter Michael Marino "dove" into action.
"Ohh, I see what you did there, James!"
See, while most of us in this scenario might just point at the tunnel and cry, hoping the situation would just resolve itself, Michael is better than us. Michael Marino, a former US Navy rescue diver, jumped in without hesitation. He swam into the dark tunnel with a life-ring, located Christine, and pulled her to safety, strictly because he is the coolest cat around.
It's possible that the tunnel wasn't dark, but that she just had her eyes closed the entire time.
So thank you, Heroes Of Overtime! Thank you for working around the clock to save our butts whenever we get ourselves into crazy situations.
by James Antinozzi
James Antinozzi has been in the ozone sanitizing business since 2005, when Ozone Nation Inc. was founded and launched it's flagship product, Fresh Gear.