A new item is popping up on South Pasadena fire trucks as a safeguard from smoke inhalation, and guess who’s benefitting the most?
Specially designed oxygen masks that fit over the muzzle of pets have been donated to the local fire department.
Bill Courtice, a retired member of the South Pasadena Police Department, recently called Kris Saxon, a captain with the city’s fire department, and asked if firefighters had a way to provide supplemental oxygen to pets.
“I told him that we did not, but had actually rescued a dog and a cat from a recent apartment fire,” explained Saxon. “Although the animals in this instance were fine, had we needed to administer supplemental oxygen, our only way to do so would have been a human mask.”
Problem solved. Courtice, a dog lover, told Saxon he was going to donate some pet masks, and today the fire department has three – a small, medium and large, primarily for canines and cate. Saxon said they are now carried on their front line fire engine. “The next time we encounter a pet in need of supplemental oxygen, we have a means of effectively administering it to them,” said the fire department captain.
The masks include a resuscitation kit for dogs and cats, allowing fire department officials to deliver oxygen to the animals in the same manner they do for humans.
“Our mission is to provide the highest level of customer service to our community and this is just another resource for us to be able do just that,” said South Pasadena Fire Department Chief Paul Riddle. “During an incident, our highest priority is to saves lives and protect property. As most of the firefighters are pet owners, we have a deep appreciation of just how much people love their animals and this new tool will enable us to save the life of dogs and cats that have been exposed to smoke.”
Added Saxon: “We would like to thank Bill Courtice for his generous donation.”