‘It shocked me at first’: Ambulance tech whose CO detector saves Dunkin’ Donuts worker

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CARLE PLACE, Nassau County (PIX11) – Nassau Ambulance Medical Technician Joseph Biundo is being credited for possibly saving a life on Long Island by keeping in his pocket a personal carbon monoxide device.

Biundo said in a news conference on Monday that he purchased the device a few months ago. He was in the Dunkin’ Donuts in Carle Place last Friday morning around 4 a.m. when the device started beeping, indicating a problem.

Biundo said he bought the detector with his own money. It cost about 200 dollars. The incident happened when it was just Biundo and an employee in the store.

“It shocked me at first,” Biundo said when the device went off inside the donut store.  “I thought maybe it was faulty and that’s why I went back out to clear it .”  But it was working perfectly — correctly warning of dangerous carbon monoxide levels in the air.

Dunkin' Donuts

Biundo said he wondered at first if his detector was faulty when he entered the Dunkin’ Donuts and it went off.

Biundo bought the detector because of a carbon monoxide incident at a Long Island Legal Seafood where a manager died back in February. Others were sickened. A faulty water heater flue pipe was blamed as the cause of that leak.

In Friday’s incident, Biundo said he took the employee out of the store, and notified authorities right away.  “Definitely saved his life, I mean he was working there from 8 p.m. that night,” Biundo said.

Police said there were no customers in the store. The investigation revealed the failure of a vent in one of the ovens as the cause for the high level of carbon monoxide, according to police. PIX11 News reached out to the store, and we were told to call back tomorrow.

Michelle King Sr. Director, Global Public Relations Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. told PIX11 in a statement regarding the incident:

“We are extremely thankful for the efforts of an unidentified guest, a local paramedic, who was wearing a carbon monoxide detector last Friday inside the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant located at Glen Cove Road in Carle Place, NY. We recognize the serious dangers of carbon monoxide and we are truly grateful that no one was injured.  The guest was indeed in the right place at the right time, and we are extremely thankful for his quick response to evacuate the employees and customers inside the restaurant. We hope the guest will come forward to identify himself so we can provide a proper thank you in person.”