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Local firefighters honored for saving man who nearly died from carbon monoxide


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EDITOR’S NOTE: is teaming up with the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho to honor ordinary individuals who have done extraordinary things to help others.
The winners of the 2016 East Idaho Real Heroes awards were announced at the American Red Cross’s annual luncheon Thursday, Feb. 25. Each day, through March 7, will feature a different winner.

POCATELLO — On November 7, 2015, Pocatello Ambulance 1 and Engine 5 responded to a call from a mother whose son was not answering his phone after telling his mother during a previous phone conversation that he was feeling numb.

Firefighters arrived at the man’s address at the same time as the man’s mother. The mother helped the crews gain access to the garage and immediately headed toward an upstairs office where she believed her son was located.

The ambulance crew’s carbon monoxide monitors went off as soon as they entered the building, indicating a very high level of carbon monoxide. The crew spotted a propane space heater and recognized that this was a potentially dangerous environment.

The man’s mother had located her son in the upstairs office unconscious. Captain Todd Deagle, Paramedic Mickey Coward and Paramedic Dustin Hale hurried to the upstairs office to recover the patient and remove both mother and son from the contaminated environment. They told the mother that she needed to go outside and she was able to walk out on her own power.

2016 Fire Safety Heroes Dustin Hale and Mickey Coward

Deagle and Hale carried the patient down the stairs and outside to a stretcher. Coward also helped move the patient and removed gear from the building. Webber then drove the paramedic crew and the patient to the Portneuf Medical Center Emergency Department. Tests at the emergency department showed that the patient had a carbon monoxide level that has a high potential for brain damage and/or death.

The remaining crew dressed in full safety gear and after checking the building with a gas meter and discovered that the space heater was defective.


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