Dispatch was for a Medical. a fall with an unconscious at 0430 hrs. Fire and EMS arrived nearly simultaneously to find the wife laying on the bathroom floor and the husband explaining that she was acting strange and then collapsed. She regained consciousness, but remained on the floor. The paramedics triaged a code green general malaise. We were leaving when the husband reported feeling strange and wondered if we could check for CO. We pegged the meter at 1000 ppm. We immediately woke the 4 children and told them to dress and exit (temps were 1 F outside) The kids were in a stupor. They couldn’t get dressed and were having trouble understanding our directions. Some laid down on the floor and at least one collapsed on the way outside. We finally scooped them up and got them out to the ambulance. (6 patients in all) We checked the house (which was newly built) and couldn’t find any signs of misfiring furnaces or anything. Finally we discovered that the family’s mini van was in the running in the closed garage. The best guess of the father was that it had been running since they returned from grocery shopping at 1900 hours.
I knew we were lucky. After reading about the fatality in PA I am reminded of how lucky we were. When the meter went into alarm mode, my gut fell. I can’t tell you how scared I was that one or more of the children wasn’t going to wake up. There are days when I don’t think much of being a fireman, and there are days that make me wonder why I answered the call. Thankfully there are days like Saturday when you realize that good things do happen in bad situations and lives do get saved.