Members of the EMS Command responded to a call for a sick female on Jan. 19 and ended up saving the lives of five people when they discovered the family s home had high levels of carbon monoxide (CO).
They did an excellent job, they acted very quickly knew exactly what to do, said Capt. Steven Warren from Division 4. The whole job went very smoothly. Had [this condition] gone undetected, this would have been a tragic story.
Lt. Rae Ammirati (Station 54), and EMTs Sherri Fiebert and Kevin Kuck (both from Station 50), responded to a call for a sick female on 156th Street in Queens at 8:28 a.m.
As soon as the members stepped into the residence, the CO detectors they wear on their belts began to sound, indicating readings of 700 ppm - indicating extreme exposure.
The members immediately evacuated the two adults and two children, ages 10 and 7, from the residence. Since they had to leave so quickly, the family did not have time to grab their coats, so the EMTs brought them to the ambulance to administer oxygen treatments.
Capt. Warren, who was called to the scene after the CO levels were detected, then used a RAD meter, which clips onto a victim s finger to determine the level of CO in his or her bloodstream. He said all the victims had high readings, so they were transported to Queens Hospital.
The members also called the local fire company to decontaminate the residence and help urge one remaining member of the family, an elderly man, to evacuate.
Although he had lower levels of CO in his blood than the other members of the family, the man decided to seek treatment and an awaiting ambulance transported him to the hospital.
The cause of the CO exposure was determined to be a faulty boiler.
During the winter months, it is easy to be victim of CO exposure. The FDNY urges all New Yorkers to install CO detectors in their homes.
Read more about how you can prevent CO exposure in the home.