Monday, March 11, 2013

Oxygen masks for pets

Oxygen masks for pets

DOVER — A local resident told Dover Fire Capt. Mike Mossor about a grant geared toward providing oxygen masks specifically for cats and dogs.

Mossor liked the idea. He knew from experience how attached people are to their pets, even in the chaos and aftermath of a fire.

“If they have pets, most of the time, folks are pretty emotional,” he said.

While the Dover firefighters have been known to use oxygen masks to save man’s best friends, Mossor recognized an opportunity to improve pet-rescue efforts.

So he applied for a grant, and within two weeks, the Dover Fire Department owned two pet oxygen-mask kits from Invisible Fence of Canton.

The company, according to owner Rob Myers, has established “Project Breathe” with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks.

The purpose of the donations is to allow firefighters to administer oxygen to pets suffering from smoke inhalation when rescued from fires.

“We realize that humans are the first priority, but, in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment,” said Myers. “Project Breathe is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.”

Each kit contains a set of three sizes of oxygen masks for dogs and cats, Mossor said. He noted that one set is on the ladder truck, which is the first truck taken to fires within the city, and the other is on Engine 201, the first truck taken to fires in Dover Township.

Mossor was quick to emphasize that firefighters don’t typically respond to animal calls. The masks are “simply a tool we can use if we come across an animal that has been overcome by smoke in a fire.”

When they do, they’ll be better equipped to help pets rather than use human masks that simply don’t fit.

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