SEATTLE – (July 14, 2015) Today, Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins received 20 donated pet oxygen masks from the Invisible Fence Brand of Seattle. The masks will be used to resuscitate animals overcome by smoke inhalation at fire scenes.
“I am very thankful for Invisible Fence’s generous donation,” said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. “These masks are another tool in our tool belt that firefighters can use to save pets overcome by carbon monoxide.”
In 2006, the Seattle Fire Department began carrying pet oxygen masks on Battalion Chief vehicles. The masks are used on animals overcome by smoke at building fires and other types of emergencies. Each mask contains a small, medium and large face piece. The cone-shaped design allows a snout to fit inside while a rubber gasket on the large end allows a seal to be maintained. They can be used on small animals like mice and guinea pigs too.
“When a family suffers the tragedy of fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence Brand.” Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”
While the priority for firefighters is saving lives and property, the first responders are able to rescue and resuscitate trapped or injured pets.
Since the pet oxygen program began, the masks have been used at more than a half dozen fire scenes to successfully resuscitate pets.
On March 26, 2014, firefighters and paramedics revived two cats trapped in a burning home in the 3200 block of South Hudson Street in the Rainier Valley.
On March 22, 2013, Firefighter Blake Bidleman and other fire crews revived two cats after they were rescued from a burning North Seattle condo building located in the 11500 block of 15th Avenue NE.
On January 9, 2012, Firefighter Jeff Blevins revived a cat found inside a burning West Seattle home located in the 3800 block of 46th Avenue Southwest.
There are steps homeowners can take to protect their pets during a fire or medical emergency. We have a fact sheet on our website.