Fire crews responded Wednesday to an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning near Adams Elementary School and found what they called a “close call.” The emergency reportedly was a result of what fire crews say is a dangerous trend firefighters all over Utah are seeing: internal combustion motors being used indoors. When crews arrived, they found a man in his mid 30s who had apparently suffered a seizure. The man was lying on a concrete floor and had a laceration on the back of his head, fire reports state. The patient reportedly was lethargic, disoriented and was suffering from hypothermia. Carbon monoxide was detected in the room and emergency crews attempted to ventilate the area. In a press release issued by Logan Fire Chief Mark Meaker, it was said that the victim was exposed to “extremely high levels of carbon monoxide.” The patient was taken to Logan Regional Hospital and later taken via medical helicopter to a Salt Lake City hospital. According to the release, the man was using a gas-powered generator in an enclosed shop. The generator was being used to power some pneumatic tools. There were no carbon monoxide detectors in the room. Logan Fire Chief Mark Meaker said the incident underscores the absolute necessity of avoiding the use of internal combustion motors in unventilated or enclosed spaces. He also used the incident to emphasize the importance of having not only working smoke detectors in every structure, but also working carbon monoxide detectors. Meaker wrote that in the last couple of years, Cache County has suffered at least two fatalities and a number of other very serious “near misses” involving carbon monoxide poisoning of multiple patients. All of the incidents involved either the use of combustion engines or barbecues indoors, or defective heating appliances. Meaker said it was his feeling that carbon monoxide poisoning is a particular problem for many parts of Northern Utah because of the cold weather and well-insulated buildings. Having carbon monoxide detectors in all buildings are as critical as smoke detectors, according to the chief.
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