Pets across Devon and Somerset have a better chance of surviving household fires – thanks to new oxygen masks for animals being carried on selected fire engines.
The latest eight fire stations in the Devon and Somerset area to benefit from the scheme are: Barnstaple, Bridgwater, Brixham, Burnham-on-Sea, North Tawton, Ottery St Mary, Topsham and Wellington. The funding for these sets of specially-designed masks has been provided by Pets at Home through its instore reward scheme.
Station Manager Dean Hastie, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “I appreciate how important pets can be to some families and individuals. If this goes just that bit further to help improve the chances of survival for a pet, then it’s worth every effort.
“Many pet owners live alone and rely on their company for support, so this is just as important to their welfare as well as the pet in a stressful fire situation.”
Pets at Home donated the money for the sets of masks to Smokey Paws, the not-for-profit organisation trying to help family pets in the event of a fire.
This donation of pet oxygen masks is one of 75 made by Pets at Home to fire stations across the UK, working in partnership with Smokey Paws, which imports the apparatus from the USA. Fire stations in the US are provided with this equipment as standard, however in the UK, services are not provided with specific apparatus to resuscitate and treat pets which are unfortunately caught in fires.
Store manager at Pets at Home Barnstaple, Anthony Bentick, said: “As a group that is passionate about the protection of pets, we are extremely excited to partner with Smokey Paws. We know that the apparatus will be put to good use and will help hardworking firefighters rescue pets and hopefully save lives.”
Lynn Carberry from Smokey Paws said: “It is with the support and donations from the public and organisations that allow us to give these life-saving oxygen masks to the fire service. Everyday firefighters risk their life to save us and our pets, the least we can do is to give them the right equipment to aid their efforts. We urge everyone to help us and donate what they can as the next pet we asked the firefighters to save could be yours.”
Smokey Paws’ mission is to raise enough money through public donations, to equip every first responder in the UK with these lifesaving masks. For more information about Smokey Paws go to its website www.smokeypaws.co.uk