Sunday, 19 September 2021

Firefighters gifted oxygen equipment to save pets in emergencies

Firefighters gifted oxygen equipment to save pets in emergencies

AN oxygen tank with masks for use on pets has been presented to Goring fire station.

The equipment, which cost £90, was paid for with a donation to the Smokey Paws charity by Sue and Martin Smith, who live in Holmlea Road.

It has three masks of different sizes that can be used on dogs or cats as well as a slip lead and muzzle to protect firefighters from aggressive animals. The masks can also be used on everything from small rodents to cattle and horses and are more effective than using human masks.

The fire crew will keep the kit on board their engine so it can be easily accessed in an emergency.

Firefighters are not issued with animal masks as standard so Smokey Paws is encouraging supporters to pay for them. Watch manager Sean Absolom said: “It’s a brilliant piece of kit. It’s probably quite rare that we’ll have to use it but it is useful to know it’s there.

“I’ve resuscitated animals twice in my 23 years as a firefighter and both times I had to think on my feet and use a regular mask. I revived a cat following a house fire in Upper Basildon and the owner would thank me for years afterwards and say it was still doing well whenever he saw me.

“I also resuscitated a Labrador at a house fire in Woodcote and it was a real joy to see it come round. The owner got very emotional.

“Pets are an important consideration because they’re part of the family unit.”

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