Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Pet-friendly oxygen masks arrive at fire stations across Merseyside

Pet-friendly oxygen masks arrive at fire stations across Merseyside


Monday, 25 September 2017


Six fire engines in Merseyside are now carrying pet-friendly oxygen masks thanks to a partnership between Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and a national charity.

The masks, provided by a charity called Smokey Paws and paid for by donations from kind-hearted animal lovers, are part of a kit specially tailored for cats, dogs and other small household pets.

Six kits are now being carried on fire engines based at Croxteth, Formby, Toxteth, Birkenhead, St Helens and Huyton Community Fire Stations.

The kits, which cost £90 each, consist of three pet-sized oxygen masks that can be used for a variety of animals. They also include oxygen tubes, muzzles and a slip lead in case an animal becomes agitated while being rescued.

They range in size to fit small pets such as hamsters, snakes, dogs and cats and larger animals such as sheep and horses, and are design to fit snugly around the snout of animals to ensure a better flow of oxygen.

One of the masks was recently put to good use when a dog was resuscitated following a chip pan fire at a home on Chancery Lane in St Helens.

The 12-year-old female terrier dog was semi-conscious following the fire in the kitchen of the property and firefighters used a pet oxygen mask to revive the dog and bring it back to consciousness.

She was returned to her owner, who had made her own way out of the property unharmed before fire crews arrived. Firefighters put the fire out using a CO2 extinguisher and a hose reel.

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 crews who attend fires in future where animals are involved.

“Firefighters have always done their best to save pets at incidents they attend and these kits will greatly improve their chances of reviving animals who have suffered smoke inhalation.

“The leads provided with the kits will also be useful in keeping any animals involved in road traffic collisions calm, stable and secure.”

Group Manager Rob Pritchard, who has been working with Smokey Paws in recent months to help get the masks on MFRS fire engines, said: “As a Service we regularly attend house fires where pets are involved.

"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.

"These new masks from Smokey Paws are specifically designed to fit the faces of animals and means we can go one step further when it comes to treating pets that have been involved in house fires and which have suffered smoke inhalation.

“Pets are an enormous part of family, so we are thrilled that we are now starting to see this life-saving equipment rolled out to fire engines across Merseyside.”

Smokey Paws is a not-for-profit organisation that provides the animal-friendly first aid masks to fire services across the UK and relies on donations and fundraising from individuals and organisations.

With the masks now on six fire engines across Merseyside Smokey Paws is now hoping to get this equipment in place at other stations across the county.

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.

“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.

“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service need a lot more of our pet lifesaving masks and we would love to hope to hear from any members of the public, local businesses and community groups within the Merseyside area who can help us raise funds to roll out the masks across Merseyside."

If you would like to find out more about Smokey Paws' pet life-saving mission, or if you can help raise funds and awareness in the Merseyside area, please contact Emma on emma@smokeypaws.co.uk or call 07340754408.
Further information can also be found at www.smokeypaws.co.uk and www.facebook.com/helpsmokeypaws

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