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Project Breathe gives firefighters oxygen masks for pets

Prince Edward County Fire Chief Scott Manlow  received a donation of equipment Tuesday he hopes his firefighters will never use.
Tracy Trumble, of Invisible Fence, visited the Picton Fire Hall to donate pet oxygen mask kits for the department’s 12 fire halls. Invisible Fence started the Project Breathe project in 2005 with an aim to equip every fire department in the United States and Canada with the life-saving equipment. Individually, the kits are valued at $200 but are discounted with bulk orders.
“It is estimated that between 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in fires; most succumbing to smoke inhalation,” Trumble said of U.S. statistics. So far, Invisible Fence has donated more than 800 kits in Ontario. Training is simple as the masks fit with ordinary oxygen packs already in use. Firefighters adjust the flow rates of oxygen and fit the mask to the animal..
“It’s a Catch-22. We don’t want to see them used, but we’re glad there’s success when they are being used.”
The masks kits contain masks in feline, small and large dog sizes. The feline mask can also be used for small animals such as ferrets and rabbits.
“It’s a great tool for our first responders to have in our toolbox,” said Manlow. “Our firefighters are very good at adapting to circumstances and these masks will help them do their job. Emergency situations are stressful enough for homeowners to go through when their house is on fire, let alone their loved ones, and pets are loved ones so if we can reduce stress that’s great.”

Click here to visit the PEC Fire Department Page to see  Tracy Trumble and Sparky the Fire Dog demonstrate the use of the new pet oxygen mask with the help of Trumble’s labrador, border collie, beagle boxer cross named Cricket who is happy to work demonstrations for peanut butter.

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