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Inaugural CO Safety Summit

Updated: Mar 1

"Very, very well done!" This is feedback we received about the 2023 CO Safety Summit, and we agree!



NCOAA held its inaugural CO Safety Summit July 31st to August 2nd to great success! The Summit was held in conjunction with the annual Fire Prevention and Safety symposium of the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), which was held in beautiful Wilmington, North Carolina this year. These two events brought out some of the best and brightest people in carbon monoxide research and the fire service.



Carbon monoxide is tied to the fire service because firefighters are frequently exposed to carbon monoxide in their work environment, but they are also the ones to respond to carbon monoxide incidents. The International Association of Fire Fighters says, “Essentially all firefighting environments can be expected to contain high levels of carbon monoxide.” [1] These connections between the fire service and carbon monoxide are why NCOAA has collaborated with leaders in the fire service for many years and why we are excited to have had the opportunity to host the CO Safety Summit alongside the NASFM Symposium.


At the CO Safety Summit, a wide range of topics surrounding carbon monoxide were covered by leaders in many parts of industry. We were thrilled with the engagement from attendees. each presenter fielded several questions from the audience, and these important conversations were continued after hours during networking events.



Over the three days of the summit, scientific research, the role of responders, personal stories, current safety measures, and data reports were discussed. These topics gave insights into the role of each of the workgroups of NCOAA’s new CO Safety Coalition, which was officially launched at the CO Summit. These workgroups and their co-chairs are:

Science and Innovation Adrian McConnell, CO Research Trust Louise Laing, Crowcon Detection Instruments

Codes, Standards & Regulations Richard Roberts, Honeywell Security and Fire Adam Sayler, City of Seward, Alaska

Emergency and Trade Response Dr. Christopher Damm, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Chris Damm and Associates John Tippett, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Data Surveillance Patrick Smith, R.E.M. Risk Consultants Christina Binkowski, National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association

As the Summit closed, attendees were invited to participate in an interactive workshop to discuss each workgroup’s scope and opportunities for the coming year. This session was led by Michigan State Fire Marshal, Kevin Sehlmeyer. Sehlmeyer facilitated a SWOT analysis for each work group. Kymberly Pashkowsky, MI Prevention CRR Chief, also provided great help during the workshop and collected all of the insights from the session for further exploration. This workshop was a great collaboration of minds and will help guide our future work!





Learn more about the CO Safety Coalition, sign up for a work group, and view the time commitment for work group participants at If you are interested in joining the CO Safety Coalition, you can sign up at https://www.coalition.ncoaa.us. Work groups will meet monthly and hold periodic webinars.


The great success of the CO Safety Summit was aided by our partnerships with the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the CO Research Trust and due to the generosity of our Summit sponsors. We greatly appreciate the support of these organizations. NCOAA looks forward to continued collaboration with NASFM and joining them once again for the CO Safety Summit next year in Kansas City from July 29-31. We hope you can join us! Stay tuned for more details.


[1] https://www.iaff.org/carbon-monoxide/#:~:text=For%20fire%20fighters%2C%20it%20is,fires%20of%20the%20overhaul%20phase.




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