New Oxygen Mask For Pets Rescues A Cat From House Fire
By Mikelle Leow, 15 Jul 2022
Saving pets from dangerous situations is among the duties that fall within the scope of firefighters.
While they’ve been trained to handle such emergencies well, their capabilities are restricted by the fact that the equipment available is designed for humans. As such, firefighters have had to improvise to save animals that have been, say, trapped in the thick of smoke.
Thankfully, there’s now an oxygen mask built especially for animals that is undergoing trials in London—and it’s already saved one life.
When called to attend to a fire at a Paddington house on July 8, the London Fire Brigade found two pet cats and evacuated them from the ground floor. One of the felines was given oxygen through the mask.
The oxygen masks, donated by pet charity Smokey Paws, arrive in three pet sizes and can snugly fit dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, and mice. Two rope leads and two muzzle sizes keep the masks secure during emergencies.
The equipment is worn just like regular oxygen masks on humans, so there won’t be disruptions with the way firefighters already work.
As Station Officer Nathan Beeby explains in a press release, the pet-sized masks ensure that the oxygen travels into the animals’ lungs. Considering that firefighters in London have put out 100 fires involving pets since 2019, that means a lot more lives can be saved.
The kits are being tested in Battersea, Paddington, Richmond, and Hammersmith, where they are currently being carried around in fire engines. If the pilot proves to be successful, the masks will be used citywide, alongside new pet-friendly equipment like fire escape hoods and taller ladders.
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