Dr. Gareth Bird introduced himself to Alec Gilroy and Sally Webster as Rita Sullivan's consultant when she was rushed to Weatherfield General in July 1998. It was established that Rita had suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and whilst receiving treatment with the aid of a hyperbaric chamber, it was confirmed that she was now out of danger. The doctor stressed that Rita had a very narrow escape - had she been found at her flat five minutes later, she would have been dead. When Alec asked if it was the water heater that had caused her illness, the doctor explained that the most likely cause would be a faulty domestic appliance. Although Rita's treatment was the hospital's main priority, he stated that the cause would have to be investigated.