Just after daybreak on March 19th, the Springfield Delco EMS Team traveled to Philadelphia to participate in the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb. The Fight for Air Climbs, held across the country in prominent skyscrapers and stadiums, are unique fund-raising events that involve climbing multiple steps. Their purpose is to help the Association fight lung disease and promote lung health through research, education, and advocacy. Philadelphia’s event, held at Three Logan Square, challenged participants to climb fifty flights of stairs. The Springfield Delco EMS Team participated in the First Responders Challenge and was awarded a 12th place finish. Individual results for team members were Caitlin Coates – 12:43.26; Patrick Murr – 17:03.38; Ron Murr – 17:03.38; and Jason Thompson – 14:13.03. SAC member Matt LeTourneau also participated in the event as a member of the Philly Fire Team. Matt finished the climb in 11:16.47. The Association set a goal of raising $125,000, which was surpassed. To date, more than $137,000 has been raised and fund-raising will continue through March 31st.
The American Lung Association offers the following Top 10 Ways to Fight for Air:
1. Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, call the American Lung Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA for the help you need to quit or log on to Freedom From Smoking® Online atwww.LungUSA.org.
2. Avoid lung health hazards. Protect yourself from harmful air pollution, both indoors and outdoors. Don’t allow anyone to smoke in your home, especially if you have children.
3. Recognize the warning signs of lung disease. Frequent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, excessive phlegm or blood when coughing and chronic fatigue are not normal. Symptoms like these mean you should see your health care provider for prompt medical attention.
4. Know the symptoms of asthma: shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest and frequent coughing when exercising may be signs of asthma. Call your healthcare provider if you suspect you or a loved one has asthma. The Lung Association can help with information on exercise, medications and coping skills to manage the disease and prevent attacks. Call 1-800-LUNG-USA to learn more.
5. Ask your health care provider about the flu shot – a safe and effective way to prevent influenza, commonly known as the flu. It is now recommended for everyone over six months of age, including those with chronic diseases, like COPD or asthma. Caregivers, relatives and health care providers of high-risk groups should also be vaccinated. If you’re over 65, you should also have a pneumonia vaccine.
6. Prevent air pollution. Drive less, conserve electricity and avoid burning wood or trash.
7. Get involved! Air pollution worsens lung disease and can even be deadly for many people, including infants, older Americans and those with chronic diseases. Join in the fight for healthy air by reducing pollution and supporting clean air laws.
8. Test your home for radon – it’s simple and inexpensive. This colorless, odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, yet it can be easily controlled.
9. Teach your children to grow up smoke-free. Their best bet for avoiding lung disease later in life is never to start smoking. Call your Lung Association for information on proven programs that teach kids not to smoke.
10. Protect your family by encouraging exercise, eating right and keeping your home free of respiratory irritants. Help spread the word to those around you, to increase awareness about lung health. Every day, you can make a difference.