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This is a tried question, but here goes. It appears some fire departments have chose not to respond to carbon monoxide calls because of libility issues. Does anyone know of a fire department being sued for not responding to this type of call and why some departments have this fobia of libility to responding. Thanks.

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Hi Gary, it seems this is an isolated incident so far. I truly think most depts do respond to these types of calls as it is just another service that we provide to the taxpayers on a daily basis reguardless of being a volunteer or paid dept. I think back to the reason why I joined the fire service, and to me personnal it was to help my fellow citizen, even on the worse day of their lives. I think all of our brothers and sisters in the fire service fall under this thinking also.

I think that when we follow proper guidelines coupled with proper training we limit our liability, but sometimes just being there we are subject to liability being in such a sue happy sociaty, folks have forgotten what it is to be personally responsible it's easier to blame someone else for their misfortune. Thanks for your comment.

Gary Bloomquist said:
We respond to CO alarm activations for the same reason we respond to fire alarms.

When we respond to an AFA, we expect to find a fire when we get there. When we respond to a CO alarm, we expect to find CO when we get there.

To properly investigate a CO alarm activation takes some time. ALL potential sources must be checked.

Most CO alarms activate based on time vs. exposure. A low level of CO over a longer period of time will cause the alarm to activate, as will a higher exposure over a short period.

Because CO is odorless and cannot be seen, it is even more important to respond and investigate using the proper equipment. I prefer at least a 3 gas meter so you can verify CO, O2, and Combustible gas readings.

We can limit our liability by being properly trained to investigate these incidents and taking our time to investigate all potential sources. Not responding does not remove liability as I am fairly certain most fire departments investigate these calls for service.

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