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June 2005

Al Cruz - Envenomations of Native and Exotic Snakes
We were very pleased to have Al Cruz of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) with us for a short-notice, special presentation.  Al gave a very informative talk about how the venom bank got started, some statistics on snakebites, and many examples of calls he has been on, complete with gruesome photos!  Venom One (Al's call sign) was adopted by the MDFR in July of 1998.  Currently, they have 98% of the world's antivenoms.  They can deploy statewide, nationwide or internationally within hours of being notified.  A few interesting statistics of US snakebites include, 90% by pit vipers, 8% by exotics, and 2% by coral snakes.  Here are some of the stats from Florida:
     * 200 venomous snakebites in Florida yearly
     *1980-1998, 20 exotic snakebites in Florida (5 fatal)
     *Miami is the largest importer of of venomous snakes in the US

Captain Al Cruz


Captain Al Cruz
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue
Antivenom Manager
Special Services Division
Telephone: (786) 331-4444
Fax: (786) 331-4443
24 Hr: (305) 366-3458



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