Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Public Service Announcement

... so you don't wake up dead in Heaven.

If you’ve joined our program, already in progress, let me bring you up to date.

I’m an EMT – First Responder with a rural fire department. My job, in an emergency, is to take care of the patients until the ambulance arrives. In my community, that takes about 30 minutes, unimpeded, on dry pavement. We are often, first on the scene of tragedy.

Well, I’m usually third on the scene because both my partners move faster than me, so I’m left in the dark, gathering my equipment, wondering, which way did they go, but I digress. Which reminds me, and I digress again. PRIMUS, VOLENS ET POTENS is Latin for First, Willing and Able. I wanted that on a tee shirt, but realized, one dark night, that mine should read, Third, Willing and I’ll Give It My Best Shot. End of digression.

A small group had rented a community hall and were staying overnight – sleeping on the floor until their program was over. Several of the group went to the ER for the flu, where it was discovered, what they actually had, was carbon monoxide poisoning.

We were paged to the hall at 5 AM, in zero degree weather, to assess and make sure we didn’t have a multiple casualty incident. Everyone was fine (carbon monoxide detector) Sleepy and cold, when we were through, but alive. The patients were exposed in their car on the way to the gathering.

Here are the scary, deadly facts about carbon monoxide:

Odorless, tasteless, and nonirritating,

Most common type of fatal poisoning in many countries.

Symptoms include headaches, vertigo, and flu-like effects.

Inhaled, it takes the place of oxygen in the blood.

For more information, click the picture of the carbon monoxide molecule.

Protect yourself and your loved ones. Relatively inexpensive carbon monoxide monitors are available everywhere. They look and work like smoke alarms. You don’t want to wake up some cold dark night with a fireman staring you in the face.

Or worse.

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