The Times West Virginian

March 3, 2014

Gas monitors will aid county VFDs

By Richard Babich
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Marion County volunteer fire departments have received new gas monitors.

The Director of the Marion County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Worthington VFD chief Chris McIntire says these monitors are for more than just detecting carbon monoxide.

“They are actually four-gas monitors,” Chris McIntire said. “They detect explosive gases, oxygen-levels, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide gases.”

These monitors allow responders to know whether or not a location is safe to enter, McIntire says. If responders enter a home with a gas leak, the monitors can inform the responders if there is an explosive level of gas.

These new monitors give responders an additional tool to more quickly respond to a variety of incidents, McIntire said.

He cited sewage pits, gas wells and gas leaks as some of the additional situations volunteer fire departments could be better prepared to handle.

These new monitors do follow a larger volume of carbon monoxide poisoning cases from this winter. Before, only a handful of city fire departments and the Marion County Central Communications Center had them.

Before this purchase, first reponders would have to wait until one of the monitors was delivered from the Marion County Central Communications Center.

“The county commission was adamant to get these to the first responders,” McIntire says. “We wanted them to be prepared with proper equipment to do what they needed safely.

“We have freon and chlorine gas detectors and radiation detectors,” McIntire said. “We have the resources that are not needed every day, but we have them.”

The gas monitors are being distributed to the volunteer fire debarments in Marion County.

Email Richard Babich at rbabich@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @rbabichTWV.