Urbandale Fire Chief Doubts Zamboni Caused Sickness at Ice Arena
Chief Jerry Holt said Wednesday that carbon monoxide levels were within safe ranges when his staff checked them after being summoned to the ice arena with a report of sick hockey players.
Urbandale Fire Chief Jerry Holt is skeptical that carbon monoxide was the culprit when seven youngsters and a couple of adults became ill Tuesday evening at a hockey practice at the Metro Sports Ice Arena in Urbandale.
Holt said his squad tested the air at the skating arena at 5150 72nd St. for carbon monoxide twice with two separate machines.
"We're pretty comfortable that the levels we were testing were within safe levels," he said. "It just seems unlikely that would have cleared out in the time until we got there."
The fire department was called to ice arena around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Two boys had thrown up and at least five others said they didn't feel well.
The coaches also mentioned having headaches.
Carbon monoxide can produce flu-like symptoms, including headache, nausea, queasiness, said Holt.
The two boys who vomited were taken to an area hospital as a precaution. None of the others needed treatment at the scene.
There was speculation Tuesday night that the arena's ventilation system may not have cleared the air well enough to get rid of the exhaust from the Zamboni machine that smooths the ice.
Holt said that was the case in a 2009 incident at the Buccaneers Ice Arena, but he said the fire department has never been called to the new ice arena for that reason.
Holt said his department notified the Polk County Department of Health and that agency would get any results from hospital tests.
Rick Kozin, a program manager for the health department, said the department had not been notified and there is no legal requirement that it be notified.