Maine firefighter treated for carbon monoxide exposure after truck left running at station
Brian Harbaugh said he went to pick up paperwork Sunday, exited the building fast and called for NorthStar EMS to help him; he quit on Monday
By Donna M. Perry
LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine — A firefighter was taken to a hospital in an ambulance Sunday after he went into the fire station and discovered the utility fire truck had been running since Friday night.
The matter is still under investigation, Town Manager Amanda Allen wrote in an email Tuesday.
"A truck was left on over the weekend and a firefighter was transported to ( Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington) on Sunday to be evaluated for carbon monoxide," she wrote. As of Tuesday, she was still waiting to speak to one more firefighter.
There was a fire call at about 7:45 p.m. Friday and afterward, the truck was brought back to the station and plugged in by another firefighter, former Livermore Falls firefighter Brian Harbaugh said.
It runs on gasoline but needs to be plugged in for battery purposes for lights and sirens and other equipment, he said.
Harbaugh went to the station at about 10 a.m. Sunday to pick up paperwork so firefighters could get paid. He discovered the department pickup truck running and there was a high level of carbon monoxide concentration in the building. He estimated the truck had been going for about 36 hours.
He got out of the station quickly but had a headache and was tired and nauseous and had a weird taste in his mouth, he said. He called to have a NorthStar EMS ambulance come. He put a shirt over his face and opened four doors to vent the station.
He was evaluated at the hospital. After venting the station and breathing in two tanks of oxygen at the hospital, the carbon monoxide was pushed out of his system, he said.
He resigned from the department as of Monday because he felt he was not supported by the administration. He is still serving on the Jay Fire Rescue Department.
"Multiple factors are going on with what happened last weekend," Allen said. "Multiple firefighters are being investigated. The department has the full support of the administration. I need more time to investigate the situation."
How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
Know the common sources and symptoms, immediate treatment options, and how to prevent CO poisoning
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