GRANTS PASS, Ore.– Pets hold a special place in many people’s hearts and for emergency personnel, when it comes time to rescue one, having the right equipment can make a difference.
According to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Fire and Rescue Division, the division responded to about 200 fires last year. Of those, a significant portion involved rescuing family pets. While the division had certain equipment to try and help save animals, it’s nothing like the newest donations it’s received.
According to Grants Pass Fire and Rescue, the division received donations from the Invisible Fence Company as part of the company’s program, “Project Breathe.”
The donation includes whole kits with three various sizes of oxygen masks meant just for pets such as dogs and cats.
With this new donation, the division announced it would be implementing a new Pet Oxygen Mask program. According to Fire and Rescue officials, three of these kits were donated and each one will go into it’s first-responder fire engines.
Tim Stacy, fire inspector for Fire and Rescue says being able to help pets can be a big deal for families that have lost everything else.
“When they’re at their worst and their house is caught fire and they’re in their lowest and losing everything they’ve got, being able to help rescue a pet means the world to them,” he said.
Rural Metro Fire has been using these types of kits for about 10 years now. While some of the items in the kit have been updated, officials from Rural Metro are happy to see that more responders are equipping their trucks with the kits.
“Since we’ve actually got them on all of our fire engines, we’ve actually used them quite a few times and we have seen the direct results of those masks save lives of pets,” said District Chief Austin Prince.
“You find yourself rescuing family members in these events. Anything we can do to help that cause is worth the effort.”
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.