Fire teams kitted out with pet life-savers

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An example of a pet-friendly oxygen masks in use. Pic © Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service

Pet-friendly oxygen masks are the newest addition to the kit of Merseyside Fire & Rescue teams.

Six centres at Croxteth, Formby, Toxteth, Birkenhead, St Helens and Huyton Community Fire Station, now carry them to give life-saving oxygen to pets that have been involved in a fire.

The Smokey Paws charity, whose motto is “every pet deserves the best chance at survival”, provided the masks that can be used on cats, dogs and other small household animals.

At the cost of £90 per kit, they were paid for by the donations of animal lovers who want pets to receive emergency care.

Merseyside station group manager, Rob Pritchard, said: “Once animals have been rescued they often, much like humans, require some form of oxygen therapy to assist in their immediate care and recovery. Our crews always do the best job they can in these situations – however our equipment hasn’t previously been tailored specifically towards household pets.”

The new device includes oxygen tubes, muzzles and a slip lead that is used in the event that an animal becomes distressed during a rescue. The masks work by fitting snugly around the snout of the pet to ensure that they receive a better and regular flow of oxygen.

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In the past, fire crews have attempted to save pets by using human oxygen masks on them. But they don’t work effectively and do very little for a pet suffering from smoke inhalation. The new kits will allow fire fighters to provide better treatment.

Lynn Carberry, co-founder of Smokey Paws, said: “It is fantastic that Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has received six kits and that these are already being used to ensure pets’ lives are saved across Merseyside.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue teams have put these kits to use and managed to save the lives of valued and much loved animals. They are now equipped to provide vital animal care.

About Shelby Hamilton, JMU Journalism