Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad Responds to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad was dispatched to a business on Union Place for a person who was unconscious on September 28th. On arrival, Squad EMTs and Summit Police officers and firefighters found an unconscious male employee in the kitchen. The Squad carries a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector attached to each of their primary medical bags and that detector activated almost immediately upon entering the building. Police and EMTs quickly evacuated the patient and all occupants to the sidewalk while firefighters ventilated and checked the building and adjoining business for CO levels. The unconscious patient was treated by the Squad and Paramedics from Atlantic Health and transported to Overlook by the Squad. Additional ambulances were requested and off duty Summit EMS volunteers responded with a 2nd Summit ambulance, their first responder vehicle and ambulances from Millburn-Short Hills and Springfield. An engine company from the Millburn Fire Department also responded to assist. Two additional employees, two Summit police officers and three Summit firefighters were also evaluated on scene for CO exposure and 1 employee was transported to Overlook for further evaluation.

Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless and can be released by malfunctioning gas appliances as well as gasoline engines. Exposure can be fatal. It’s not uncommon for an exposed person not to realize they have been poisoned until they lose consciousness. Headache and dizziness are early symptoms. It is strongly recommended that every home and business have working CO detectors. The portable unit carried by the First Aid Squad may have saved several lives that morning.

The all-volunteer First Aid Squad, responds to emergency calls 24/7, is entirely funded through private donations and does not bill for service. The Squad is always looking for new volunteers to join its ranks. All needed training, uniforms and equipment is provided. For information on becoming a volunteer, or donating to the squad please call 908-277-9479, or visit their web site at

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