New program educates people about dangers of carbon monoxide
Left to right: John Marshall (TSSA director), Cory Mainprize (Barrie Fire chief), deputy mayor Barry Ward, Alexandra Campbell (TSSA vice president), Gord Bashford, Kimberley Greenwood (Barrie Police Chief), Andrew Robert (Director and chief of County of Simcoe Paramedic Services) join together for safety blitz announcement, Wednesday Nov. 6, 2019. Shawn Gibson/BarrieToday

'In the last four years, we have had three carbon monoxide-related deaths in our community. That actually exceeds the number of fire-related deaths we have had as a city,' says fire chief

Appropriately announced during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, a safety blitz will combine the efforts of local emergency services to combat injuries and deaths related to carbon-monoxide poisoning.

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), City of Barrie, Barrie Fire and Emergency Service, Barrie Police Service and County of Simcoe Paramedic Services launched a community safety campaign in Barrie on Wednesday called Working Together in Our Community – THINK SAFE.
During the launch, which took place at the Barrie fire department headquarters on Dunlop Street West, representatives of the city’s emergency services spoke about how they hope people will heed the many warnings they often give out through literature and seminars regarding carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Barrie Fire Chief Cory Mainprize says more than 80 per cent of carbon monoxide-related injuries and deaths occur in the home.
“In the last four years, we have had three carbon monoxide-related deaths in our community,” said Mainprize. “That actually exceeds the number of fire-related deaths we have had as a city, that is how important this is issue is.”
The campaign will run for three weeks, during which city residents will receive details about carbon-monoxide exposure and additional important safety information by mail and through local media.
In March 2018, Barrie resident Gord Bashford and his family were awoken by his carbon-monoxide alarm in his home.
Bashford spoke about how he and his family evacuated the home and called Barrie Fire to investigate.
“It was the right choice, as we came to learn that our furnace was leaking carbon monoxide into our home,” he said. “Had we not made the decision to call Barrie Fire at that time, we certainly feel as a family the situation could have been a lot worse.”
Andrew Robert, director and chief of County of Simcoe Paramedic Services, explained why carbon-monoxide scares should be taken seriously.
“Carbon monoxide grabs on to your blood where oxygen should be attaching to your blood to feed your body,” Robert said. “It holds on 200 times stronger than oxygen would, so when that alarm goes off, you need to take it seriously.
"It won’t take long for the carbon monoxide to replace your oxygen and want to stay there.”
Working Together in Our Community – THINK SAFE culminates with Community Safety Day on Nov. 24 at the Allandale Recreation Centre from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hosted by TSSA, this one-day, community-oriented event will feature a variety of free activities and showcase educational and interactive exhibits, such as TSSA’s mobile carbon-monoxide safety house, while enabling community safety partners to deliver valuable safety information in a unique and engaging way.