Northport Fire Rescue now has oxygen masks for pets, thanks to a donation from the group "Invisible Fences." Source: WBRC video
Captain Jason Norris demonstrates how to use the oxygen masks on a Yorkie named Milo. Source: WBRC video
The oxygen masks come in three different sizes to fit both dogs and cats. Source: WBRC video
NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) -
Milo came face to snout with very first oxygen mask this afternoon. If this Yorkie needs rescuing from a house fire in Northport, the people likely to save him are more prepared than ever.
"To a lot of people, their pets are their children. So if it's important to them, it's important to us," Captain Jason Norris said.
Pet oxygen masks are the latest tool Northport fire fighters are using. The group "Invisible Fences" donated pet oxygen masks to the department last week.
Though the U.S. Fire Administration doesn't track to number of pet-related deaths connected to house fires, some industry websites believe that number could be anywhere from 40,000 to 150,000, according to Norris. Most of those deaths are the result of smoke inhalation.
Masks for humans could be used on pets in a pinch. But these are designed specifically for cats or dogs.
"We have oxygen masks that fit children. We have masks that fit adults. With this, we have three different sizes to choose from and they're shaped to fit the contours of a dog or another animals' face," says Norris.
Northport Fire Rescue will distribute the masks among fire stations in town this week.