What initially looked like a quiet night out soon turned into a full-on intervention thanks to Lonnie Wimmer and his experience as a first responder. The firefighter saved 30 people from certain death after correctly identifying the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Wimmer was celebrating the anniversary of a friend at the local River Ridge Tap House when he started noticing that the other guests were behaving oddly. Most were complaining about headaches while others felt nauseous. The bathroom was seeing more visits than usual, and the general mood was not one of celebration.
Wimmer, himself felt a little nauseous, and he quickly realized that the upset stomachs and throbbing headaches were not caused by the local beer selection.
Upon recognizing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, the firefighter called his colleagues. In no time, six ambulances arrived at the scene along with one of the eight North Carolina emergency busses.
Their main concern was to screen all the people that were exposed to the gas and keep them out of the cold. A total of 31 individuals were treated after being exposed to the dangerous gas. Fortunately, nobody was severely affected by the spillage although over a dozen individuals required hospital admittance.
The affected people could have died in their sleep if Wimmer did not notice the signs of carbon dioxide poisoning. When a person is exposed to the odorless gas, the ability of the blood cells to carry oxygen is compromised. Moreover, carbon dioxide fixes itself to hemoglobin faster than oxygen, thus compromising the health of the exposed individual.
North Carolina law states that all homes must feature a carbon monoxide detector. However, restaurants are exempt from the rule.
According to a restaurant representative, the carbon monoxide spillage occurred after the heating installation malfunctioned. It was a technical error that could have happened to anybody.
After the glitch was solved, the restaurant opened its doors again, the management reassuring customers that there is no more danger.
The off-duty firefighter saved 30 people because he knew the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas is a silent killer, odorless and colorless. Individuals who get intoxicated often feel an intense headache, nausea, and sleepiness.
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