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Carbon Monoxide Detector Alerts Paramedics to Toxic Gas


April 6, 2016 – Superior North Emergency Medical Services (SNEMS) Paramedics responded to a call for service in which the patient was experiencing confusion. On arrival, paramedics were warned of a potential cause of this confusion when the Carbon Monoxide detector attached to their oxygen bag began to alarm. Paramedics assessed, initiated treatment, and transported the patient to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

SNEMS equipped every ambulance in the service across the with CO detectors District this past fall, to warn them of exposure to this toxic gas after responding to numerous calls in which Thunder Bay Fire Rescue reported high levels of CO. 

“The safety of our staff is of utmost importance to SNEMS, so the decision to provide all of our paramedics with this warning device was an easy one,” said Andrew Dillon, Deputy Chief (Acting) - Superior North EMS. “Beyond the safety of our staff, it also provides pertinent information that is relayed to staff at the hospital to assist with patient care. It is our belief that measures such as this will save lives, and today’s response by our paramedics supports this belief.”

More than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario.  Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless poisonous gas which makes it very difficult to detect. Carbon Monoxide is a product of the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels and is produced from our everyday items such as automobiles, fireplaces, and furnaces. 

It is now the law to have a working carbon monoxide alarm outside all sleeping areas of your home if your home has either a fireplace, a fuel burning appliance, or an attached garage. In condo and apartment buildings with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the service room. In condo or apartment buildings that have a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the garage.



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              Contact: Andrew Dillon, Deputy Chief (Acting), SNEMS, (807) 625-4615,   adillon@thunderbay.ca