Carbon monoxide victim reunites with life-saving dispatcher

East Medford, Ore. — Carbon monoxide kills 500 Americans each year and poisons at least 50,000 more, that’s according to the Centers for Disease Control. In December, a Medford woman became part of that statistic. But fortunately, an ADT dispatcher was able to step in, and save her life.

Carbon monoxide started filling Sharon Lausmann’s home in East Medford. But her life was saved by just one phone call. Wednesday, she got to meet the person who made the call. The reunion was emotional, thankful, and NBC5 News was there for it all.

ADT Dispatch: “Hi this is ADT Security – we’re receiving a carbon monoxide alarm. Is everything okay

Everything was not okay, Lausmann just didn’t know it yet.

Sharon Lausmann: “Carbon monoxide?

ADT Dispatch: “Yes.”

Sharon Lausmann: “Oh wow – yeah, everything’s fine.”

“It didn’t seem like she really thought it was anything serious,” said Phyllis Clark, the ADT dispatcher who made the call to Lausmann. She’s worked at ADT Security for nearly nine years, but this is one phone call she remembers vividly.

ADT Dispatch: “It’s deadly – it doesn’t have an odor.”

Sharon Lausmann: “It keeps going off. I can’t make it stop.”

Lausmann assumed the alarm was set off by a pot roast she had just burned in the oven. She didn’t even realize what the beeping was in her home – or where it was coming from.

“I didn’t even know what it was for. I’m like – God, why do I have a thing next to my bed? How tacky,” Lausmann said.

Luckily, Clark convinced Lausmann to have it checked it out. That’s when Clark called 911 and ultimately, saved her life and her pets.

Medford Fire-Rescue arrived to find life-threatening carbon monoxide into Lausmann’s home. Wednesday, the two women got the chance to meet.

“It really makes you think about what you’re doing and when you see that alarm come up on your screen,” Clark said.

“This celebration for Phyllis for saving my life and the fire department was just wow. Wow – how many times have I said that today,” Lausmann said.

A life-changing experience for both women.

“When someone tells you – no, no, just forget about it. Follow through and Phyllis did. She called 911 because I wouldn’t have,” Lausmann said.

“The job that we do, you don’t think about it. You just do it and to have somebody to come back and say – you actually saved my life. It puts a different perspective on it,” Clark said.

Clark accepted ADT’s Life Saver award Wednesday morning. ADT also awarded $5,000 to Medford Fire-Rescue. The agency said it will use the money to help fund organizations it supports throughout the year.

Medford Fire-Rescue said carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely dangerous because some people never recognize they’re being poisoned. The most common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

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