CO alarm alerts paramedics to danger as they help London woman

A $175 device has again made a difference for London paramedics and perhaps a patient.

On Thursday, an ambulance crew responded to a call in the northwest end of the Forest City to aid a person experiencing heart and breathing issues.

Inside, paramedics attempted to determine what was wrong with the female patient.

Moments later, the small device they carry to every call, went off.

“When the crew entered the house, their CO (carbon monoxide) monitor went off, so upon transport of the patient they mentioned that as a potential underlying cause,” states Middlesex-London Paramedic Service Operations Manager Lynn McCreary.

It is not an unusual example she confirms.

“We might find this happens four to five times during the winter months,” McCreary adds.

It’s why the devices were first purchased six years ago, to protect paramedics and their patients.

The CO detectors are attached to a cardiac monitor that goes inside every residence, on every call.

While the devices ensure the safety of paramedics, the Deputy Chief of the London Fire Department contends they should not be needed.

Matt Hepditch reminds residents carbon monoxide detectors are mandatory in homes.

“So, it is required to be installed adjacent to any sleeping area on any floor of your home,” states Hepditch.

He says it is also important to note that if your detector goes off, do not hesitate, ever, to call 911.

“And they feel it may be a disruption to fire service, it’s not. It’s a legitimate 911 call”.

And that’s especially at this time of year, he says, as many of us use fuel-fired appliances for heat and comfort.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Hepditch affirms.

McCreary agrees, adding any hesitation on safety checks might result in a close call or worse.

“I’ve actually been on a call when one of these devices went off and we quickly took the patient right out of the house,” says McCreary.

“Carbon monoxide alarms are definitely life savers,” Hepditch concludes.

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