Donation to VFD Breathes Life into Rescued Pets

| July 14, 2017

VALDOSTA – The Valdosta Fire Department received a donation of pet oxygen masks from Invisible Fence® Brand’s Project Breathe that will allow firefighters to efficiently administer oxygen to an animal who has suffered from smoke inhalation.

The donation supplies one oxygen mask kit per engine truck containing a small, medium and large mask that fits most domesticated animals. These lifesaving devices will be awarded to the VFD during a press conference on Friday, July 14, at 9 a.m., at Fire Station 1, which will include a demonstration on how these masks work.

“The Valdosta Fire Department’s number one priority is life safety,” said Fire Chief Freddie Broome. “We are pleased to partner with Project Breathe and for the opportunities to enhance the lifesaving services we provide within the community. Firefighters strive to save all lives including pets, because they are considered family members, too.”

Due to recent animal rescues, the VFD has seen a need for these oxygen masks, according to Chief Broome. Recently, the VFD firefighters responded to two separate structure fires which resulted in four dogs being rescued. Three out of the four dogs survived. One of the dogs suffered from smoke inhalation and required assistance by SGMC EMS. Because pet oxygen masks were not available, EMS used a human oxygen mask to provide oxygen to the dog until the dog’s breathing returned to normal.

Invisible Fence® Brand, who has donated more than 1,530 masks to more than 510 fire stations in the southeast, estimates that 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in fires. Without the pet oxygen masks, most of the estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires each year succumb to smoke inhalation.  In most states, emergency responders are not equipped to deal with the crisis.  The donation of masks to the VFD will help save more pets and prevent pet owners from the devastation of losing a beloved four-legged family member in a home fire.

For more information about Project Breathe, contact Chief Broome at 229-333-1835 or fbroome@valdostacity.com.

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