Pet oxygen masks help firefighters save man’s best friend
May 7, 2014
Eastside Fire & Rescue rigs, which operate out of the North Bend and Wilderness Rim Fire Departments, are now carrying pet oxygen mask kits. The first responder consortium recently received 15 of the specialty kits from Invisible Fence’s Project Breathe program.
Invisible Fence, makers of an electronic fence system that trains animals to stay in yards, created the Project Breathe program to equip every fire station in the United States and Canada with the pet-friendly oxygen masks.
These masks make it easier for firefighters to give oxygen to pets suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires.
Invisible Fence has donated more than 10,000 pet oxygen masks to fire stations all over the U.S. and Canada throughout the life of the program. Reports indicate more than 120 pets have been saved by the donated masks so far.
Most recently the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that a dog was saved in March during a fire.
“When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Albert Lee, director of Invisible Fence. “Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”
“We realize that humans are the first-priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment,” said Lee. “Project Breathe program is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.”
Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited anywhere from 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis. The loss is terrible for the family and heartbreaking for the firefighters.