Volunteers can save lives

Dear editor:

Shortly after Christmas we had a first-hand experience with the Tidioute Volunteer Fire Department.

Our home is equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm and on the evening of December 26, 2012, it activated. After calling 911 the Tidioute Volunteer Fire Department quickly responded.

In the midst of a snowstorm, five gentleman (Mark Vasley, Corey Nicholson, Chris Morgan, Nathan Brown and Jonathan Brown) left their families and negotiated their equipment to our home to provide assistance. In their “space suits,” they determined we had lethal carbon monoxide levels in our home. They professionally vented the house and determined the source of the problem. They also contacted Jack and Shawn Fulkman who responded and assisted at the scene. Paul and Kathy Matie, best neighbors that they are, provided temporary shelter for our family.

My purpose in writing is twofold: First, to express a sincere thank you to all those involved in helping avoid what could have been a catastrophe, and second, to urge everyone to get and maintain detection and warning devices for carbon monoxide, smoke, and other potential hazards. Once you have them, make sure you maintain them well and keep them in service.

Until something like this happens, we usually don’t realize how important our volunteer groups are and how critical detection instruments can be in our lives.

Breathing gratefully and healthfully,

Peter E. Pepke, Tidioute