First responders with all four Chili fire departments are now equipped to save a pet’s life.
Invisible Fence of Upstate New York recently donated four pet oxygen mask kits to these departments. The kits were presented with the pet oxygen masks during a recent meeting at Chili Fire Company No. 2.
This donation is just a small part of Invisible Fence Brand’s Project Breathe program, which was established to equip every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks. These masks allow firefighters and emergency medical services staff to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires.
Invisible Fence Brand has donated more than 18,200 pet oxygen masks to fire stations in the U.S. and Canada. A reported 170-plus pets have been saved by the donated masks so far, including one family dog in Baltimore by Baltimore County Fire Department.
“When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Tony Hettinger, president of Invisible Fence of Upstate NY. “Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes. We realize that humans are the first priority, but in many cases pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment. The Project Breathe program is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.”
Chili and surrounding areas are joining the ranks of cities like Seattle, Chicago, Denver and Salt Lake City, who have all received donated pet oxygen masks from the Project Breathe program.
“Thank God they had the masks,” said one pet owner whose dogs were recently rescued using donated masks. “The dogs are just like family. I don’t know what I’d do without them. Things can be replaced. Lives can’t, whether they’re animals or people.”
Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry websites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis.
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