On Saturday Night, October 12, 2019 Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Medic 7 (Clearbrook) was dispatched to assist the City of Roanoke with an unresponsive patient. Upon arrival Medic 7 took their EMS jump bag along with other equipment into the residence where a City of Roanoke fire truck crew, EMS Supervisor and numerous other friends and family of the patient where all present.
Upon entering the house the portable CO detector on the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue EMS jump bag started alarming. The detector was then taken outside, to clean air, where it stopped. Then it was taken back inside where it started alarming again and the value read 350 parts per million.
A gas monitor was then taken off of the City of Roanoke fire truck and it too read that high levels of carbon monoxide were present in the home. Everyone was then directed out of the house and into fresh air. The presence of the carbon monoxide detector on the EMS bag kept many people from getting sick, it protected fire and EMS crews, and the patient was able to be properly diagnosed and receive proper care.
As colder weather approaches and people start to heat their homes, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue would like to remind everyone of the importance of having a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is commonly called the “silent killer”. It is a product of combustion and is present any time that natural gas, propane, kerosene, or wood is used to heat a home or power an appliance like a stove or hot water heater.