Alcor News Bulletin
                 Number 7: February 6th 2003

                      Service Update

    from Charles Platt, Director of Suspension Services

Paramedics at Alcor

On January 29th, nationally certified paramedic Larry 
Johnson officially started work as a fulltime employee at 
Alcor. We chose Larry from among more than 20 applicants 
with medical backgrounds. In addition to taking a leadership 
role in future standby-transport operations, Larry will be 
applying many years of emergency-medical experience to help 
us upgrade our procedures and equipment. This is a major 
step forward for Alcor.

On January 30th Larry and I were joined at Alcor by a 
registered nurse who wants to participate in cryonics 
standbys. The three of us received instruction from Hugh 
Hixon regarding operation of the ATP, the portable blood 
washout equipment which Hugh codesigned. Our visiting nurse 
showed the depth of her interest in cryonics when she 
spontaneously suggested the idea of fluorocarbon ventilation 
of the lungs as a way to cool a patient rapidly. She was 
quite surprised when I told her that Critical Care Research, 
in Southern California, has been developing this idea for 
several years as a tool in resuscitation medicine.

Today, February 6th, Larry shared his newly acquired 
knowledge of the ATP with four paramedics from Paramedics 
Unlimited, the local "temp agency" with which Alcor has 
negotiated a contract for standby help. The paramedics 
learned the equipment more quickly and more thoroughly than 
I expected. Tomorrow, eight more from the same agency will 
come here to receive their training. Next week, California 
standby team member Joe Tennant will visit us to make sure 
we are fully informed on every aspect of the ATP.

Training Classes Overfilled

When I announced in the previous Alcor News that we would be 
offering standby/transport training classes beginning on 
March 1st, I expected 10 to 15 applications. In fact more 
than 20 potential students have asked to attend, and we have 
overfilled the capacity at David Pizer's Creekside Lodge. I 
apologize to the people we cannot accommodate in March. 
Clearly we will need to run another set of classes in the 

Revitalizing Alcor UK

Just a couple of years ago the fate of Alcor UK seemed 
uncertain, as our overseas members complained that Alcor's 
strict requirements for life insurance were too difficult to 
satisfy. The situation now is very different, as the short-
lived insurance requirements have been withdrawn. When I 
visited England recently I discovered new determination 
among Alcor UK members to enhance their capability. 

In the near future I hope that Alcor UK will become a 
clearly defined entity linked contractually with Alcor in 
the United States. The next step will be to try to bring 
vitrification to British Alcor members. I believe Alcor's 
British activists can implement the procedure if we help to 
provide them with the necessary equipment, but transport of 
a vitrified patient remains a major challenge, since it 
should be done at a temperature well below dry-ice. Still, I 
see a lot of potential in the UK for an active, effective 

Before I returned to the United States I visited former 
Alcor member Alan Sinclair, who has started Cryonics Europe, 
an umbrella organization that accepts members from Alcor and 
The Cryonics Institute and is supported by equipment which 
Alan largely designed and built himself. Alan has fitted out 
a trailer as a mobile perfusion unit, has built a 
laboratory/workshop in his back yard, and showed me a dry-
ice cooldown box in his garage. His resourcefulness 
demonstrates that cryonics is still a field where one person 
can make a very substantial difference.

A New Kind of Thumper

Back at Alcor I was pleased to find we had received our 
first LUCAS cardiopulmonary support device manufactured by 
the Swedish company JoLife (check their website at For more than a decade Alcor has depended 
on the Thumper, a gas-driven unit which applies CPR via a 
piston located over the patient's sternum. Manufactured by 
Michigan Instruments, the Thumper is reliable but extremely 
heavy. When it is used in conjunction with a portable ice 
bath, the ice bath has to be very rigid and strong while 
allowing side access for the Thumper--an almost impossible 
set of requirements for an accessory that must be 
collapsible and sufficiently light for transportation as 
airline baggage. 

The LUCAS is half the weight of the Thumper, smaller, and 
simpler to operate. I'm indebted to Mathew Sullivan for 
discovering this device online. Its only drawback is that it 
cannot be used on obese patients. We may make our own 
modifications to rectify this problem.

Truck Conversion and Facility Expansion

Today I visited Tim Carney, our truck conversion expert, and 
found that he has made progress toward creating our new 
ambulance. We have resolved fundamental questions such as 
how the truck's work area should be air conditioned, and we 
have established our total power requirement (about 10,000 
watts) which will be satisfied by a generator mounted under 
the floor at the side of the chassis. 

Driving back from visiting Mr. Carney, I noticed dozens of 
trucks similar to ours parked outside buildings in the 
commercial area where Alcor is located. I had hoped that our 
truck could be parked outside like everyone else's, but at a 
board meeting on February 2nd the Alcor directors made a 
general informal recommendation requesting that the Alcor 
truck should be parked inside the building. While I share
the desire to maximize safety, parking the vehicle inside
will complicate our facility expansion plans to some extent, 
because commercial buildings are not designed to accommodate 
trucks of this type, and a rear access door to the building 
will have to be enlarged. Still, this is only one challenge 
in the facility expansion plan which Alcor director Steve 
Van Sickle and former Alcor president Steve Bridge developed 
with me during the past month. The plan calls for relocating 
our growing number of Dewars in an additional unit of the 
building, moving the operating room to a larger area which 
will allow us to have two operating tables, more than 
doubling our lab space, and adding an intermediate floor in 
some areas. Alcor's staff and directors have approved the 
plan in its basic form. Now we just need money and a 
supervisor to implement it.

Looking ahead

Later this month I will visit Southern California with Larry 
Johnson. Larry will participate in surgical training at 
Critical Care Research, and two days later he will meet the 
Southern California standby team, our most active and highly 
trained regional group of volunteers. 

March 7th will be the last day of the six months which I 
originally pledged to Alcor when I accepted the title of 
Director of Suspension Services. I hope to continue my 
involvement with Alcor while reducing the extent to which I 
am involved in standby/transport work, for which I am not 
ideally qualified. Generally I am pleased with the progress 
that has been made in upgrading our capabilities, although 
the quick succession of patients last year did have an 
impact on our readiness. Today I saw Mathew Sullivan 
cleaning countless items from standby kits that were used in 
last December's case and had been stored at a mortuary since 
then. It's easy to forget that every standby/transport 
operation requires meticulously assembled kits which have to 
be meticulously refurbished before they can return to 

Bearing in mind the increasing caseload which we can expect 
as our members grow older, our need for extra help is 
obvious, and I have received authorization to advertise for 
a laboratory assistant. Naturally we prefer to hire someone 
with a genuine interest in cryonics. Anyone who is willing 
to relocate in the Phoenix area, has some knowledge of 
biology or chemistry, and has some basic experience doing 
lab work should contact Alcor immediately.


                  Extropians in Phoenix

         by Dr. Jerry Lemler, President and CEO

On the evening of Wednesday, February 5, I was invited to 
speak to the Phoenix chapter of the Extropian Society in the 
Red Room of the Jetz Americana Restaurant in Scottsdale.  My 
presentation drew a most interesting crowd of 15 or so 
individuals, and was (I believe) quite well received. No 
more than ten minutes into my formal presentation, we were 
joined by Chris Heward (Research Director at Kronos), and 
his friend (and ours) Dr. Michael West.  From that point on, 
Dr. West joined me in rebutting the few skeptics in 
attendance regarding the likelihood of cryonics being 
successful, and other matters pertaining to why one should 
sign up with Alcor. It was great to see Mike again, and I 
look forward to further interactions with members of
this outstanding organization.	

Alcor News is written primarily by Charles Platt.
Contents are copyright 2003 by Alcor 
Foundation but permission is granted to reprint any whole 
news item, so long as Alcor is credited as the source and 
the reprint includes our URL at