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Person found unresponsive from CO poisoning in home

Webster first responders stress the importance of CO detectors

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Webster, NY - Webster first responders are emphasizing to residents the importance of CO detectors after finding a person unresponsive in their home due to carbon monoxide poisoning.


EMTs from Webster Emergency Medical Service (WEMS), paramedics from Northeast Quadrant Advanced Life Support (NEQALS), and firefighters from the North East Joint Fire District (NEJFD) were the first responders who found the unresponsive individual, along with some pets.


With the heating season underway, Webster first responders are urging residents to keep themselves safe with carbon monoxide detectors.


“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, or other fuel,” NEJFD Chief Rob Boutillier says in an official press release. “Improperly ventilated appliances, including furnaces and fireplaces, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels.”


With people spending more time in their homes due to COVID-19, first responders say the risk of CO poisoning is even higher.


“Because carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it can sneak up on you quickly,” says Paramedic Ahmed Mustafa, president and CEO of NEQALS and WEMS. “Normally we’d say the greatest risk is at night when people are sleeping; however, now with many of us working and studying at home, the risk is present at any time.”


Mustafa and Boutillier urge people to install at least one working CO detector on each level of their home and within 15 feet of any sleeping space.


“CO detectors are inexpensive devices that can, and do, save lives every year,” says Chief

Boutillier. “Please make sure you test your CO and smoke detectors monthly to ensure they are in proper working order. If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, treat it as a life-threatening emergency, call 911, and exit the location immediately.”


According to Mustafa, signs and symptoms of CO poisoning may include:

  • A dull headache

  • Feeling weak

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Unexplained shortness of breath

  • Blurred vision

  • In extreme cases, loss of consciousness

Residents can find CO detectors at local home repair and hardware stores, and as well as online. Mustafa and Boutillier say these detectors require minimal installation.

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