OBFC #1 Undertakes a Pet Project

Shakira was only 5 months, but her future looked bleak. Lifeless and limp, her lungs filled with smoke, the German shepherd puppy was carried out of a burning house by Daytona Beach, Fla. Firefighters. All efforts to save her were failing until a tiny oxygen mask made especially for small dogs was placed over her snout so oxygen could be delivered directly to her. Within a short period of time Shakira was back to life, wagging her tail and yapping away.

Fire officials familiar with the masks said they are invaluable when trying to save a pet overcome by smoke. A lot of times we find that people’s masks don’t quite fit around pets mouths, said Lt. John King, of the Daytona Beach Fire Department.

On Long Island, few places other than veterinary offices have them. A spokes person for the Nassau Animal Emergency Group, a Westbury emergency vet clinic, said: For the little room they take up, they’re worth their weight in gold. (The preceding was excerpted from an article in Newsday).

The Oyster Bay Fire Company #1 agrees with the last statement. They take up very little room, and, for what they might accomplish by saving someone’s pet, it is no sacrifice at all. The masks come in sets of 3. A small and large for dogs, and, a feline size and shape. The mask has an adaptor that allows you to either connect oxygen tubing, or, you can remove it if you have to connect an ambu/resuscitation bag. The mask also has dual vents on either side to allow unrestricted inhalation and exhalation. If oxygen flow is set too low for patient requirement, the vents will allow the patient to inhale ambient air. If oxygen flow is set too high for patient requirement, the vents will allow the oxygen to escape. The masks and tubing are washable and can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

A set of masks will be carried on each of our ambulances so that they will be available at fire calls or carbon monoxide calls. Our EMS squad will be instructed in their use. We hope we never have to use them, but we are sure that animal lovers and pet owners will be happy knowing that they are available.