Sunday 19 November 2017

Tiny oxygen masks to help pets will be carried by fire crews in Merseyside

The kits are designed to fit dogs, cats and hamsters plus larger animals like sheep and horses.

A dog is given air via an oxygen mask thanks to charity Smokey Paws (Smokey Paws/Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service)
A dog is given air via an oxygen mask thanks to charity Smokey Paws (Smokey Paws/Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service)

By Nicola Irwin

Oxygen masks designed to fit household pets and livestock will be carried by fire engines on Merseyside to help animals suffering from smoke inhalation after a blaze.

The kits come in three sizes to fit small pets such as dogs, cats, hamsters and snakes to larger animals such as sheep and horses.

Six fire engines in the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service fleet are the latest in the UK to carry the masks and related oxygen tubes, muzzles and a lead in case an animal becomes agitated while being rescued.

Earlier this month, firefighters in Birmingham shared video of a Labrador puppy being revived using the same smaller masks.

The £90 kits have been provided by charity Smokey Paws and have already proved useful.

A dog was resuscitated following a chip pan fire at a home on Chancery Lane in St Helens earlier this month.

The 12-year-old female terrier was semi-conscious following the fire and firefighters used the small pet oxygen mask to revive the dog.

Station Manager Franny Hill said: “The pet oxygen mask was vital in bringing this lucky dog back to consciousness and the kits will be of benefit to crews who attend fires in future where animals are involved.”

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A dog is given air via an oxygen mask thanks to charity Smokey Paws (Smokey Paws/Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service)

Smokey Paws wants to get additional kits on more fire engines both in Merseyside and across the country so that other animals can be helped.

Lynn Carberry, co-founder of Smokey Paws, said: “The masks we provide are specifically shaped to fit animals’ snouts properly when administering oxygen. Up until now, many fire services have been using human masks when treating animals which aren’t shaped effectively enough; our pet masks ensure as much oxygen can be administered as possible to the animal or pet in need.”

Rob Pritchard, group manager at the fire service, said: “Pets are an enormous part of the family, so we are thrilled that we are now starting to see this life-saving equipment rolled out to fire engines across Merseyside.”

People can support Smokey Paws by visiting its website.

Press Association

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