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The Dry Ridge Fire Department now has the capability to monitor every residence it enters for the “silent killer” of carbon monoxide.
All three DRFD ambulances have a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor attached to the medical bags that are taken into homes during a medical call.
The monitors were purchased for $510 thanks to the Dry Ridge Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.
“It’s passive monitoring that is constantly monitoring,” said Acting Chief Joe Jameson. “We can be doing other things, and then if it goes off, it keys us that there could be another problem.”
DRFD is the only EMS service in Grant County and northern Kentucky that provides this extra level of protection from carbon monoxide exposure.
The deadly gas, which is created by incomplete combustion, does not have to reach high levels to immediately affect families.
Minimal amounts of CO can cause symptoms similar to the flu and greater amounts can lead to unconsciousness and possibly death, according to the DRFD.
“This past winter, when some of the storms moved through eastern Kentucky, they actually had several CO fatalities where people were using generators and things like that,” Jameson said. “The biggest problem we have is that with some of the furnaces and hot water heaters you can’t see the CO or smell it. Unless you’ve got a CO monitor in your house, you’ll never even know it’s there. It’s one of the silent killers.”
Jameson said he recommends families have at least one CO monitor in their home that is plugged into the wall.
“We recommend at least one CO monitor in the house at the top living floor of the house because CO is lighter than air and it rises to the top floor,” he said. “That’s normally where everyone’s bedrooms are.”