FDNY Firefighter Revived with "Miracle Drug"

May 18, 2024
EMS crews performed life-saving efforts on the collapsed firefighter and administered hydroxocobalamin.

A firefighter who collapsed while responding to a Bronx house fire Friday, received a "miracle drug" that likely saved his life, according to fire officials.

FDNY Chief John Hodgens told CBS New York that EMS crews immediately began life-saving efforts on the on downed firefighter, including administering the drug hydroxocobalamin that reverses the effects of cyanide poisoning, which can be caused by smoke inhalation.

"Hydroxocobalamin is administered when we believe someone might even have smoke exposure because it is so powerful, and it's the sooner they use it, the more likely it is to save a life. It is really a miracle drug. The drug itself is fairly new, not brand new. It's not something we've always had," FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said. "We have seen it do tremendous things to civilians and firefighters alike now that it's something that EMS has and uses regularly."

FDNY crews had responded to a two-alarm fire and found that the fire had already spread to the basement, first floor and second floor.

Firefighters were met with heavy heat and smoke conditions when they entered the first floor of the home. 

One firefighter was having difficulty breathing and began to leave, but Hodgens said as he was walking out, he collapsed and lost consciousness.

A mayday was called and crews carried the unconscious firefighter out of the building.

Hodgens said the firefighter was not breathing by the time they got him out onto the sidewalk.

The firefighter was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where he was reported to be awake and alert. 

He is expected to make a full recovery.

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