Canada’s Leading Carbon Monoxide Education Advocate In PEI with CO Alarm Donation

Posted on 13.09.2021 in the Press Releases category

September 13, 2021, Charlottetown, PEI – The Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education has traveled to PEI to make two donations of carbon monoxide alarms to local fire departments. John Gignac, Canada’s leading carbon monoxide safety advocate, was on site today at the Victoria Fire Department and the Charlottetown Fire Department to donate First Alert carbon monoxide alarms. Each department received 50 units.

“Our foundation has made it our goal to travel Canada, from coast to coast and reach as many people as possible with critical lifesaving information and education about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to protect your family,” says John Gignac, Executive Director at the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO education. “We’ve done work in most regions of Canada and are happy to be here in PEI for the first time to help generate awareness about the silent killer, here on the Island. You can’t see, smell or taste CO and the only way you can know if the deadly gas is in your home, is if you have installed working CO alarms,” he adds.

John is a retired fire fighter of 34 years and the uncle of Laurie Hawkins, an Ontario Provincial Police Constable, who perished from CO poisoning along with her husband Richard and two children Cassandra and Jordan, in 2008 at their Woodstock, Ontario home. The exhaust vent from their gas fireplace became blocked, leaking the poisonous gas back into the home.

Ever since that terrible family tragedy, John Gignac, and the Foundation team, have been working across Canada to generate awareness about the ‘Silent Killer’ and making donations of CO alarms when possible.

The foundation selected the two departments because they wanted to donate to a local volunteer department, as often those are the fire departments who most need the extra resources. Charlottetown was selected as it has the ability to reach more families with important CO education messages.

“We are happy to host Mr. Gignac and receive this generous donation of CO alarms from First Alert. CO is a danger year-round and we will make sure that we get these units into the homes in our community that need them most,” says Charlottetown Fire Department, Fire Chief, Randy MacDonald.

“Listening to John Gignac’s tragic family story and his experience turning that into positive and much needed education is inspiring. We are lucky to have him come to Victoria to help spread awareness of the issues and provide us with much needed CO alarms,” says Eric Gilbert, Firefighter, Community Liaison, Victoria Fire Department.

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