Firefighters save pets’ lives with pet oxygen masks: How to help
April 17, 2011
• Health & Wellness
When tragedy strikes and a home fire occurs, lives are turned upside down. Homes and personal belongings can be destroyed, people may be injured, and in some cases, even lose their lives.
Saving a human life is always the first priority when a fire occurs, but pets can also be saved if firefighters have the right equipment: pet oxygen masks.
Invisible Fence® Brand knows this can happen and is stepping up to save the lives of cherished family members – pets. That’s why during the month of April, more than 1,300 pet oxygen masks will be donated to more than 20 fire departments in the U.S. to celebrate Project Breathe month.
Project Breathe was established with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks. These masks allow firefighters to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires. The masks often save pets’ lives.
Invisible Fence® Brand has been quietly equipping fire stations all over the U.S. and Canada with pet oxygen masks for years. By the end of April, the number of pet oxygen masks donated through Project Breathe will total more than 10,000. A reported 50+ pets have been saved by the donated masks so far, including two pets saved on April 1 in Willoughby, Ohio.
“We’re making these donations simply to save pets,” said Randy Boyd, Invisible Fence President and CEO. “To lose a pet in midst of a house fire would be devastating. Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if needed.”
“In many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment,” said Boyd. “Project Breathe makes it possible for pets to stay alive after suffering smoke inhalation.”
The cities which will receive donations in April are now joining the ranks of cities like Chicago, Cleveland and Memphis, who have all received donated pet oxygen masks from Project Breathe.
In October 2010, firefighters in Cleveland saved a Pomeranian and her four puppies who suffered from smoke inhalation after a house fire. The pet oxygen masks used on the dogs were donated by Invisible Fence of Northeast Ohio in April 2008. “That was a good thing that company did,” said the owner of the home. “And I’m thankful for what the firemen did.”
Although the number of pets that die in fires in not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 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, heart wrenching for firefighters.
“These pet oxygen masks truly are blessings not just for residents, but for firefighters as well,” said Fire Chief Bertral Washington of Clark County, Nev. Fire Department, which will receive a donation on April 13. “We want nothing more than to save every living creature in a burning home. People are obviously our number one priority, but we will are thrilled to have the tools to save pets as well.”
“We’ve seen residents run back into burning homes to save a pet. It’s understandable, but extremely dangerous. These masks will give people comfort in knowing that we can save their pets if they are suffering from smoke inhalation,” said Chief Washington.
The company has set up a website, www.invisiblefence.com/O2, where people or companies can support the effort.