BANGOR, Maine — St. Joseph Hospital gave the city a $2,500 check Monday night, which will allow the Bangor Fire Department to purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors at every Bangor School Department school.
“St. Joseph Hospital is excited to be participating in this,” Jamie Perry, director of the hospital’s emergency department, said. “We see a number of patients in our emergency department with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly during the heating season. One of the best ways to prevent such accidents is through carbon monoxide detectors.”
Bangor Fire Department will buy the detectors — at least three for each of the 10 school buildings in the system — and assist in their placement and installation.
“I am confident and comforted knowing these detectors will add an extra measure of safety for the kids and staff in all school buildings throughout the city,” Bangor Fire Chief Scott Lucas said Monday night. He credited Superintendent Betsy Webb and the school department with leading the push to get carbon monoxide detectors in the schools.
Webb said that she reached out to Lucas after learning in December of a carbon monoxide incident in a Georgia school that left 42 children ill. Bangor schools already have carbon dioxide detectors, the superintendent said.
Webb asked Lucas if there might be a grant available to secure detectors, but St. Joseph Hospital offered up a donation instead.
“I want to thank our fire chief, Scott Lucas, and St. Joseph Hospital for their sense of urgency in helping keep students and staff safe while at school,” Webb said. “We are fortunate to have such dedicated community members.”
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause symptoms such as fainting, dizziness and nausea. High exposure to the gas can be fatal, with about 500 deaths and 15,000 hospital visits attributed to unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the United States, according to St. Joseph Hospital.