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  • Writer's pictureNikki James Zellner

Who is responsible for protecting schools from carbon monoxide incidents?

News flash: we all are.

However, I've identified 7 core groups who are going to be instrumental in running this ball forward – and are critical stakeholders for change:

• Journalists (investigative reporters, editors, education/health beat

and community reporters)

• Parents of children 0-18 who receive out of home education/care

• Elected and appointed public servants (delegates, members of

legislature, school board members, superintendents)

• School leadership - Risk/Campus Safety Manager, School Nurses,

Principals/Assistant Principals, Maintenance Managers

• Educators in Schools, Daycares or Collegiate Campuses

• Student leaders interested in creating change on their campuses

• Emergency Management/Healthcare/First Responders within communities

(Emergency Managers, Emergency Room doctors/nurses, Fire Department and EMS teams in


My goal with this site (and my CO work in general) is to be the challenging voice and accessible resource for helping achieve CO Safe Schools nationwide, so that those

who come into contact with my work will feel inspired to become watchdogs of and active participants in creating solutions for their own communities.

I want to empower these community stakeholders with tools to have CO conversations

and avoid critical injuries. Let's do this...together.

Why work with me on this important issue?

- MEDIA + JOURNALISM BACKGROUND: From 1998 to 2015 I worked in media – from small markets to large markets in community and regional newspapers; as well as launching 15 community magazines across the US; I understand the goals, the struggles and the type of personalities/departments in play there – and the tiring and thankless job that is being a reporter

- MOM: I am a mom of school CO poisoning survivors with children (event: February 2020) in both the private and public school system; My personal experience (and the conversations that have taken place because of it) have shaped my desire to create awareness and change in this space

- CITIZENSHIP: In 2020 and 2021, during a pandemic, I worked directly with elected officials in Virginia to introduce, advocate for and create legislative change on the state level (which passed into law in 2021)

- SOLUTION FINDER: I worked for 1 year as an independent researcher on CO incidents in US schools, and created a Case Study that was presented to, and accepted by, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council Life Safety Committee (ICC) that led to national and international building code changes for safer schools; I consistently went up against personalities, challenges and language I was not familiar with, and kept pushing for change (despite having zero experience in any of these categories)

Are you one of the 7 core groups above? Reach out and let's chat.


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