Rose Hill Fire Dept. receives oxygen masks to save pets during fires

ROSE HILL, N.C. (WNCT)–One local fire department in the East is working to save the smallest members of your household in the event of a fire.

The Rose Hill Fire Dept. will now be using oxygen resuscitation masks to help your four-legged friend in the event of smoke inhalation.

It received one set of masks as part of Project Breathe.

“As with anything, it’s better to be prepared and be able to react than to sit there and say I wish I could have,” Carlton Bryant, fireman, said.

The masks come in three different sizes, small, medium and large in order fit a variety of different animals.

“We connect them to an oxygen source, like an oxygen tank, put it over the dog’s snout and then we just assist by giving oxygen,” Bryant said. The masks can also be hooked up to an ambu bag.

The oxygen is highly concentrated to deliver oxygen quicker. Smoke inhalation affects pets just like it does humans.

“Smoke inhalation can be very damaging to a pet’s lungs in the same way it would be for a human,” Dr. Margie Hunter, owner of Warsaw Animal Hospital, said. “They can eventually succumb to smoke inhalation if they’re not taken care of quickly enough. It doesn’t take very long for a pet to be affected.”

Dr. Hunter says usually 10 to 12 minutes.

The fire department received training last week on resuscitating pets.

“We obviously want to take care of the humans first but if you have time to get your pet out just make sure they have a nice open airway and there’s nothing causing any trouble for them to be able to open their mouths and breathe,” Dr. Hunter said. “Once you make sure they have a nice open airway, we want to make sure they can get fresh air.”

The fire department will have the set each time it responds to a call. It hasn’t used the masks yet and hopes that day never comes.

If you’d like to help the fire department get more masks they’d love a donation.

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