Central Dispatch Center evacuated due to carbon monoxide release

BALDWIN — Due to a carbon monoxide release in the boiler system of the Lake County Courthouse on Friday, the Central Dispatch Center, located near the boiler system, was evacuated and two 911 dispatchers were sent to the hospital.

According to Jim Andelohr, director of 911 in Lake County, there was a carbon monoxide release due to a faulty motor in the ventilation system connected to the boiler, which provides hot water for the entire courthouse complex.

“The two dispatchers showed above normal levels of carbon monoxide in their system, but were able to return back to work with no lasting effects,” Andelohr said.

The Central Dispatch Center was evacuated at midnight on Friday, with dispatchers working from alternate locations, and by 7 a.m. on Saturday, the courthouse was all clear and they were able to return.

Andelohr was glad the carbon monoxide release was discovered.

“Last week, two dispatchers were sent to the hospital with unrelated issues, and I determined something could be wrong. We investigated the situation and this is how we discovered the carbon monoxide leak,” he said.

The ventilation system in the courthouse has built-in carbon dioxide detectors, as well as carbon monoxide detectors in units in the roof area, but because the leak was coming from the hot water boiler, it went undetected, Andelohr said.

“After the incident, I purchased a carbon monoxide detector to be placed in the boiler area. The levels of the carbon monoxide release were enough to create headaches and make the employees not feel well. Things could have been much worse if this went unchecked,” he said.