Saving the lives of every member of the family got a little easier this week for Saanich firefighters, who were given sets of oxygen masks designed to help resuscitate Fido and Fluffy.
The six oxygen masks fit over the snout, nose or beak of pets of all sizes, and can be hooked up to an oxygen tank like a mask designed for humans.
“Over the years we have come across dogs, cats, birds, after a house fire, and we’ve tried to utilize equipment that’s designed for people to help resuscitate the animals,” said deputy fire chief Frank Macdonald. “This gives us the ability to provide a higher level of care to any animal that we come across.”
Glenn Sergius, president of Canine Benefactors Society, which gifted the oxygen masks, says the devices are identical to the ones used by veterinarians when an animal goes in for surgery.
“Our organization tries to raise money to buy these veterinary oxygen masks and we hope to be able to equip all fire and rescue departments, so they can use them to rescue all animals: dogs, cats, birds, snakes, gerbils.”
Even before putting the masks into practice, Macdonald said the department will buy another couple sets, as they will be a valuable tool on the job.
Saanich is believed to be the first fire department in Greater Victoria to be using the animal oxygen masks.
For more information on Canine Benefactors or to donate to their cause, visit caninebenefactors.com.