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Fire depts. on board with pet masks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, February 08, 2013 6:23 PM

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DELPHOS — Anyone who owns a pet can attest to how quickly they become part of the family but when a house fire breaks out, pets can often be forgotten about until all human family members are safe outside. According to the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), an estimated 40,000 pets die from smoke asphyxiation every year.

This statistic has prompted an effort by the OVMA to put kits containing pet oxygen masks into the hands of fire departments around Ohio. Veterinarians Drs. Bonnie and John Jones of Delphos Animal Hospital have combined with the OVMA to distribute the kits locally.

“These are very similar to the ones we use for mask induction anesthesia,” Dr. Bonnie said. “There are cords for you to attach the breathing bag to and different mask sizes. You want to focus on getting a good seal around the mask, then hooking it up to the rebreather and breathing for them if they aren’t breathing. These masks aren’t disposable, you just have to make sure you sanitize them. There’s also a leash in there because you know they’ll come awake and want to run off somewhere.”

They’ve presented masks to Delphos, Lima, Spencerville and American Township Fire Departments. Kalida, Ottoville and Fort Jennings joined the ranks on Thursday. Dr. Bonnie says they’ll be donated to Cairo Monroe Twp., Columbus Grove and Middle Point fire departments next.

“The only place we haven’t really hit yet is Van Wert. We’re trying to cover our surrounding area. There’s already been one successful instance at a house fire in Lima. The dog was rescued from the fire but wasn’t breathing and they were able to save its life with one of the kits,” she said “They asked for two more. We’ve had clients repeatedly thank us for getting involved with this program. They’re happy to know their pets will be taken care of in an emergency.”

After receiving the kit for Ottoville Fire Department, Chief Dan Honigford spoke for all when he expressed appreciation.

“We’re all very grateful to have these. Hopefully we never have to use them but at least we should be prepared now,” he said. “People get very close with their pets and they become part of the family. We aren’t saying we will save pets before people, but we’ll save whoever we can.”



+1 #1 2013-02-09 15:12
This is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. Fire departments don't even have oxygen for equip them with this crap for a pet is stupid.

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