Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First responders risk lives solving health hazard mystery in Phoenix, Arizona

I am thankful to Chuck Mitchell, Chairman of the Dougherty Georgia County LEPC for distributing information about this video regarding the potential hazards of storage containers of liquid CO2 and the challenges faced by first responders.


  1. ShaNeal S. Robertson
    I am also thankful to the Chairman of the Dougherty County Georgia LEPC for distributing information about this video as to my Professor picked up on it, and now I have had the opportunity to view the video and gain knowledgeable insight on CO2 and its hidden hazards and effects.
    After re viewing the 18 minute video I was shocked as to the outcomes that took place. The initial 911 response call was an eye-awakener as to that is how a typical 911 call takes place, especially when little to no details is given. What was really shocking to me was that all the while the fire responders were on scene, the restaurant kept running as to nothing was happening at the time. Then when the responders arrived on the scene, none of the employees on duty seemed know what exactly happened to the young lady. It seems as though the McDonalds did not have a preparedness ready kit or assessment on hand just in case something like this happens.
    While viewing the video, I was glad to see that the fire responders on scene were very knowledgeable in their field to the point that they knew something was terribly wrong. I also was glad that the fire responders were trained so well to the point that they knew how to quickly assess the situation and come up with a reasonable solution to disseminate the situation in a timely, efficient, and effective manner. It is also good that the first responders were able to learn from the situation that they encountered.
    Like Mr. Tom McGowan, I too think that this was a bold and great call for the Phoenix Fire Department to go ahead and create a lesson-learned video, and use the “out-in-open” character that it has displayed for many years to display this video on you tube for others in the country to see. Just as Mr. McGowan said, this incident and situation that happened occurred at a place that we are very familiar with and that is very much a part of our everyday culture and lives. That was an excellent point he pointed out within his article located on the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) website.
    This would make for great coffee break training session for all emergency response team and any company or business that readily uses CO2 within its facility.

  2. I agree that the managers at the store seemed less than fully professional regarding this situation. Someone at least called "911" but seemed unable to give a very complete explanation of the situation. One of the things that shocks me is the apparent fact that no one seems to have acknowledged the fact that at the young employee WAS in fact hurt in this situation and that her unborn child may have been seriously affected by the event. I really wonder about the explanation that the CO2 alarm had been accidently disabled. People sometimes intentionally disable alarms because they are annoying when they alarm. It seems as if everyone involved is trying to cover for the owners of the store, including the news reporter, the first responders. Yes, the first responders learned from the experience. I hope others did also.

  3. I agree with you as well Dr. Neubauer when you speak about how no one seemed to acknowledge that the young girl and her unborn child could have been seriously hurt. It did seem to me as though the only people that were really worried about in this tragic event is the first responders. But the question should have been, "how is the young girl and her unborn child doing?" I think everyone totally looked over this part of the situation, and I do agree that it seemed as if they were trying to cover for the owners. My question going forward is "was the owners penalized for the CO2 alarm being disabled?", even if it was done "accidentally".

  4. I found this video very informative, and I’m grateful to have an opportunity to be enlightened with this information. I’m very shocked to see something like this happen in a place that I constantly visit. I’m very grateful to see that the first responders went above and beyond to help the initial victim with little given information. I was very astonished to see that the other employees on duty, including the manger of the establishment, were not concerned with their fellow coworker. The decision made by the manager to continue to run the restaurant while a fellow employee was in dire need of assistance is very unbelievable. Although the first responders had little knowledge of what was going on, they took the time to investigate the issue, and also took the precautions to evacuate the others that were also in the building when they noticed something wasn't right. It’s excellent to see that that the members of the team demonstrated that they have been well trained and very knowledgeable.
    I understand the fact that it saves the businesses money to have liquid CO2 in their establishments, but no one should be put in danger for them to save money. I feel that if these liquid CO2 tanks are installed they should be properly checked on a regular basis to insure they are working properly to insure everyone’s safety, and that nothing like this happens to anyone else.

    From this video I gained great knowledge of the dangers of liquid CO2. This video is also an eye opener for companies that may have liquid CO2 in their establishment and is a great example for them to learn from. I also believe that companies that have liquid CO2 tanks should have some type of training session of what to do if something like this was to occur. I hope that the posting of this video encourages others to take more precautions of insuring the safety of their working environment.

  5. It is okay to comment here, but please post to your own blog and let me comment there. That is what I will grade. :-) Here in Georgia state inspectors visit eating places. I am sure they are looking for things related to sanitation and so forth. I don't know if they inspect things like CO2 tanks here in Georgia. I don't know if eating places in Arizona are even inspected at all. I agree with the things you have written. It is sad that the managers on duty at the time were apparently so unwilling or unable to respond to an expected situation. In so many organizations today it is all about the money -- full speed ahead, no matter what. I wonder what you thoughts may be about the professionalism of the first responders.

  6. I agree withh all of the responses so far but as a former emploee of a Mcdonalds where I was able to percieve the tanks that contained the CO2. This gas is used to charge the soda machine that dispense the beverages customers comsume.If I remember correctly a shutoff valve/switch is available to shut off the flow of the gas to the dispensing machines used by the employees. I agree that the management on duty should have been more concerned and knowledgeable of the employee and the workings of the resturant. It is just deplorable behaviour as a manager. However, with the properly trained First Responders, the incedent did not reach a fatal conclusion. The use of this video as a training tool is applaudable, in that, the explaination offered by the narrators is complete and offers ideas for owners/operators of these dipensing machines need to be viligant with regular maintainence of them and the sensors responsible for employee safety.

  7. Yes, the first responders learned from this event and did good to share it with others. Please post to your own blog and let me comment there.