Ohio firefighter sets skydiving record to raise money for smoke inhalation safety program

By Justin McClelland and Danielle Wilson
The Dayton Daily News

LEBANON, Ohio — Joe Frolick made 100 touchdowns Friday, Sept. 4, but he wasn't on a football field. The 34-year-old Wayne Twp., Ind., firefighter set an Ohio record Friday by performing 100 consecutive skydives over a 12-hour period at the Warren County Airport.

To perform this feat, Frolick had to make a jump approximately every eight minutes.

He used a small propeller plane that took him between 2,500 and 3,000 feet in the area — lower than some of the more spectacular freefall dives that can start from upwards of 12,000 feet.

As soon as he landed, Frolick quickly shed his parachute, jogged across the field and strapped on another, usually in less than a minute.

Frolick hopped back on the plane and was back in the air.

A record-keeper showed that some of Frolick's early jumps were performed in less than six minutes from touchdown to touchdown.

As he made his jumps, a team of volunteers restuffed the six parachutes Frolick had on hand.

"I don't think it's set in yet," Frolick said after his final, record-setting landing.

He made the jumps to raise money for the Firefighter Smoke Symposium, a training program of the Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition that teaches firefighters to safely deal with potentially deadly chemical smoke often prevalent in modern fires.

Frolick hoped to raise $10,000 for his cause through his jumping, but won't know until a final tally is made later.

"As a firefighter, he's very passionate about issues that affect firemen, and smoke inhalation is a serious issue that there's never been much awareness about," said Shawn Longerich, the coalition's executive director.

Organizers said firefighters participated in the symposium.

Frolick said the airplane, equipment and training had all been donated by Start Skydiving, which operates out of the Warren County Airport in Lebanon.

Copyright 2009 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

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