Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Fire engines across Merseyside to carry pet-friendly oxygen masks

Fire engines across Merseyside to carry pet-friendly oxygen masks


Wednesday, 07 February 2018

Fourteen fire engines in Merseyside are now carrying pet-friendly oxygen masks thanks to generous donations from animal lovers.

The masks, provided by a charity called Smokey Paws and paid for by donations, are part of a kit specially tailored for small household pets and larger animals.

Following an initial trial of six masks rolled out to Croxteth, Formby, Toxteth, Birkenhead, St Helens and Huyton Community Fire Stations last September, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) has now swelled its numbers of Smokey Paws masks to 14.

The new kits are now being carried on fire engines based at Speke, Upton, Southport, Bootle & Netherton, Old Swan, Eccleston, Wallasey and Kirkdale. The kit formerly donated to Huyton Community Fire Station has been transferred to the new Prescot Community Fire & Police Station.

Costing £90 each, the kits 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 designed to fit snugly around the snout of animals to ensure a better flow of oxygen.

Group Manager Rob Pritchard, who worked closely with Smokey Paws to help get the masks on MFRS fire engines, said: “It’s fantastic to now have pet oxygen masks on appliances based at fourteen of our stations.

“We are incredibly grateful to the people and organisations who have helped raise money to allow us to boost our numbers of the Smokey Paws kits. They will vastly improve our chances of reviving many more animals across Merseyside who have suffered smoke inhalation at fires.

"Once animals have been rescued they often, much like humans, require some form of oxygen therapy to assist in their immediate care and recovery. These masks are specifically designed to fit the faces of different animals and means we can tailor our response to the specific animal involved in the incident.

“Pets are an enormous part of any family, so we are thrilled that we have more of this life-saving equipment on fire engines across Merseyside. It would be wonderful if we could eventually have a kit on an appliance at every station.”

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 fourteen fire engines at stations in Merseyside, Smokey Paws is hoping to get this equipment in place at all stations across the county.

Lynn Carberry, co-founder of Smokey Paws, said: “It is fantastic that Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has received fourteen kits so far and that these will be 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 life-saving masks and we would love to hear from any members of the public, local businesses and community groups within Merseyside who can help us raise funds to roll out the masks across the county."

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 Merseyside, please contact Lynn on 0203 195 3892 / 07340 754 408 or at lynn@smokeypaws.co.uk

Further information can also be found at www.smokeypaws.co.uk and www.facebook.com/helpsmokeypaws

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