Vermont couple meets lifesaving Knoxville dispatcher

Vermont couple meets lifesaving Knoxville dispatcher

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Sean and Terri O'Connor got a special chance Thursday to meet Mitch Shubert, an ADT dispatcher who helped save their lives. Sean and Terri O'Connor got a special chance Thursday to meet Mitch Shubert, an ADT dispatcher who helped save their lives.
"About five o'clock, I went in to turn on a pot of water, and the ADT alarm system began to go off, and telling us that there was a concentration of carbon monoxide in our basement," said Terri O'Connor.. "About five o'clock, I went in to turn on a pot of water, and the ADT alarm system began to go off, and telling us that there was a concentration of carbon monoxide in our basement," said Terri O'Connor..
"When I saw that it was a carbon monoxide alarm, my first instinct was just to get them out of the house," said dispatcher Mitch Shubert. "When I saw that it was a carbon monoxide alarm, my first instinct was just to get them out of the house," said dispatcher Mitch Shubert.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Vermont family got the chance to thank a Knoxville man who may have helped save their lives from hundreds of miles away.

August 11 started out like any other day for Sean and Terri O'Cconnor. They spent most of the day in the yard of their St. Johnsbury, Vt. home, but when Terri went back inside, she noticed something wasn't right.

"About five o'clock, I went in to turn on a pot of water, and the ADT alarm system began to go off, and telling us that there was a concentration of carbon monoxide in our basement," said Terri.

The couple tried resetting the alarm, thinking there was nothing wrong, but it had already sent a signal hundreds of miles away to ADT's monitoring center in West Knoxville. There, dispatchers immediately notified the local fire department in Vermont.

The ADT dispatcher told Terri to take everyone and all the animals out of the house and to not try to open any windows.

When first responders arrived they traced the carbon monoxide to a leaking car battery [that was] charging in the basement. The levels were so high, officials say they could have been lethal in just minutes.

"Over time it has become really clear how very lucky we are to be alive," said Terri.

They owe most of that to dispatcher, Mitch Shubert, who called out the fire department that day and got the O'Connors out of the house.

"When I saw that it was a carbon monoxide alarm, my first instinct was just to get them out of the house," said Shubert. "Anytime you get a carbon monoxide alarm, it's very serious because it's colorless, odorless and tasteless. It's just so easy to disregard what you can't see."

The O'Connors got a special chance on Thursday to meet the man behind the phone who helped save their lives.

"To be able to do that, and look them in the eye and thank them for the hard work that they do and the very important work that they do is priceless," said Terri.

Shubert says he was simply doing his job.

ADT says its Knoxville monitoring center handles more than 19 million emergency signals a year.

The company says with cold weather starting to arrive, this is a great reminder for everyone to make sure their carbon monoxide detectors are working. 

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