New Equipment for Odessa Fire and Rescue Helps Keep Your Pets Safe 2/12/13
More and more pets are found with smoke inhalation in fires, and now, thanks to a donation from two organizations, Odessa Fire and Rescue EMS units will be equipped with masks especially for animals, something they didn’t have in the past.
During a fire, crews must battle flames and treat any injuries from fires in the home. Sometimes there are fire victims who need treatment; this can also include family pets. In the past, animals were given oxygen through conventional masks. Fire officials say the new equipment was needed.
“You know I was out there for the first two practices and I asked the firefighters that were in the class [and] I think I had 2 or 3 from each class who raised their hands that they have rescued animals out of a fire,” states Chief Hogue.
Last week, fire crews went through training on the proper way to use the new mask kits for animals. These kits include three masks, small, medium and large for different breeds and animals. Although the treatment is the same for animals and humans, these new masks will be a better fit for the animals, meaning better medical care.
Capt. Ortega says, "We do have a lot of cases where we were in the past just using regular masks. Obviously that doesn't fit the animal very well. We just put it beside them and then help them out a little bit. The oxygen just tends to revive them a little bit more. Some pets are beyond that point but any pets we can help we do try and help.”
The Humane Society and Odessa Downtown Lions Club purchased 9 masks at a cost of about $80 dollars a kit, putting one in each ambulance with one extra for backup. Beginning today, the masks are on all Odessa ambulances.
"We realize that pets are just like a family member to some people. You know we'll do everything we can to help in a time of crisis," says Chief Hogue
Later this week, the City of Odessa and Odessa Fire and Rescue will make a formal announcement at a press conference about the new masks.
City Officials say they are thankful that the community is stepping up to help get equipment to help them do their jobs.