Donation gives pets better chance of survival after house fire
Posted at: 05/22/2012 8:56 AM
| Updated at: 05/22/2012 6:15 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
Pets now have more of a chance to survive if their owner's house catches on fire.
An organization called Project Breathe presented 37 pet oxygen masks to Rural/Metro ambulance company in Rochester Tuesday morning.
Almost exactly four years ago today - EMT Chris Forsyth let his instincts that over. He put an oxygen mask on a cat to get it to breathe.
"I was a little scared because cats aren't really in my training. I'm trained on people, sick people, and what I'm supposed to do for them," Forsyth told News10NBC afterwards.
Another cat and a dog in the house were rescued unharmed in the fire that Forsyth responded to.
Today - the folks at Project Breathe tried the new animal oxygen mask on Budda, a dog, who didn't seem to understand that it might someday save his life. He put up a bit of a fight.
The pet masks come in three different sizes to fit any size muzzle. The kit comes with an oxygen supply line for each mask - and a rescue leash and instruction sheet.
Chris Shand is part of Project Breathe. "We're trying to get this life-saving equipment in the hands of everyone that's going to be coming across this situation where they're going to be saving these animal's lives," he says.
Dr. Simon Kirk is a veterinarian with Animal Emergency Service in Brighton. He says the masks can be a life-saver before an pet reaches an animal hospital.
A Youtube video from April shows firefighters in New Jersey using an animal oxygen mask on puppies they rescued from a house fire. Project Breathe says the masks don't take up a lot of space in an ambulance or on a fire truck - but if they need them - they're there.
"The oxygen will definitely help them to breath a lot better and hopefully will help them be a little more calm on the ride to the veterinary hospital," says Dr. Kirk.
Rural/Metro says of the many dozens of house fires they've been called to so far this year, they haven't had a situation yet where the mask could have been used.
They also say, obviously, that a person would be administered to first before a pet.
Either way, Rural/Metro says this is the right thing to do to help support the community.