4 fire stations in West Norfolk now have pet oxygen masks thanks to a fund raising campaign led by Mill House Veterinary Surgery & Hospital.
I visited King’s Lynn Fire Station to find out all about it!
Their campaign, initiated last year, attracted overwhelming support from clients, King’s Lynn residents and holiday makers who read about it in the local press. Due to the overwhelming success of the Tennyson Avenue based practice, three sets were supplied to King’s Lynn Fire Station and an additional three were distributed to Dersingham, Terrington St Clement and Downham Market Fire Stations.
Currently fire fighters are having to share their vital life saving equipment with humans and pets despite the fact that 46% of households in England have pets. Unlike humans pets will normally hide in houses from fire and therefore suffer smoke inhalation much quicker than a human.
Mill House Clinical Director, Dr Sarah Colegrave, has commented, “We have been overwhelmed by the response our campaign has received and are so grateful to everyone who donated. It is reassuring to know that pets, who may be caught in a house fire in West Norfolk, have a much better chance of survival with these amazing life saving pet oxygen masks. We can’t thank our donors enough for their generosity.”
The oxygen masks come in three sizes, large, medium and small. The masks have been used on dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, guinea pigs and ducks.
King’s Lynn Fire Station Manager, Bob Ayles, stated, ‘People are more concerned about their pet’s survival than their own. In the past we have relied on our own first aid equipment which we used on human beings. We now have the specialist equipment to use to give the animals the best chance of survival and give a better service to the community.’
The pet oxygen masks are supplied by Smokey Paws – a not for profit charity whose aim is to equip the whole of the UK fire service with pet oxygen masks to help resuscitate family pets in the event of smoke inhalation during a fire.
Paula Grant, from the Mill House veterinary surgery, said, ‘It is heartbreaking seeing pets which have been caught up in a house fire. All household pets have a much better chance now. We are just over the moon with how it turned out.’
More information on Smokey Paws can be found at http://smokeypaws.co.uk/home.
The Barking Bugle is investigating some fund raising activities to ensure more fire stations in Norfolk have this vital equipment. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page.
Woofs Fur Officer Gizmo, repawting for The Barking Bugle.