A Maryland police officer whose cruiser leaked carbon monoxide is fortunate his best friend is an emergency medical technician.
Ricardo Biddy and Phil Martin talk to each other every day, which may very well have kept their friendship alive.
“When we were 7, we were both members of the then Seat Pleasant Dream Police,” Biddy said. “Been friends ever since then.”
They both volunteer for the Seat Pleasant Fire Department, and Biddy is also a Prince George’s County police officer.
He had just pulled up in front of his home in the early morning hours of March 3 after a shift at the firehouse when carbon monoxide overcame him.
Fortunately, he was talking to Martin at the time.
“All I remember that night is being on the phone,” Biddy said. “And I just remember feeling dizzy and nauseous.”
“I noticed he started to mumble about subjects that were irrelevant, stuff that I was unfamiliar with,” Martin said.
Martin followed his instincts, called 911 and got into his car to follow Biddy’s route home from the firehouse.
“I ran to his house and found him unresponsive in his cruiser,” Martin said.
Other emergency units soon arrived and took Biddy to the hospital for treatment.
“To say that your best friend came to your aid and saved your life, it’s remarkable,” Biddy said. “I'll be forever grateful to him.”
“When you talk to someone every day, every single day, no matter what, for years, and then something odd happens, I don’t believe in just writing it off,” Martin said.
Biddy’s newer model cruiser got work done at the dealership in January, including replacing the engine’s manifold, which takes the exhaust gases from the engine and emits them from the tailpipe.
Biddy then complained twice about exhaust fumes in his vehicle, but county maintenance could not find a problem, police said.
“We tested; it tested negative for CO,” police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said. “We sent it to the dealership negative test.”
After Biddy’s scare, fleet maintenance recreated the incident and discovered carbon monoxide leaking into the vehicle. At the dealership, they found a crack in the manifold.
Prince George’s County police said there's no reason for their officers or the public to be concerned.
“We believe this to be a one off, and we strongly feel that way based on the results of their investigation into this vehicle,” Deputy Chief Chris Murtha of the Bureau of Patrol.