In February 2007, through a generous donation from H.E.L.P. ANIMALS INC., Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) received a supply of oxygen masks for pets. In efforts to ensure the safety of pets, PF&R continues this program, training all PF&R firefighters in the proper use of pet masks in emergency situations.
The masks come in three sizes (small, medium and large) and fit snuggly on snouts. The masks can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds. The oxygen masks are used to resuscitate animals that have been rescued from fires and have been exposed to smoke or need supplemental oxygen due to respiratory disease. The oxygen mask is applied over the pet’s nose and mouth, creating a seal. Oxygen is then funneled to the distressed pet through the use of an oxygen bag or an oxygen cylinder.
The pet oxygen masks were originally developed for use by veterinarians but have evolved into rescue tools over the past several years. The kits that include a small, medium, and large mask cost approximately $55.00 a piece. Most masks are reusable.
Pet oxygen kits are stored in PF&R’s Chiefs’ vehicles and can quickly arrive on emergency scenes throughout the City.
H.E.L.P. ANIMALS INC. is a 501(c)3, tax deductible, non-profit, all volunteer organization established in 2003 that started a civic project to provide animal oxygen recovery masks to be put on local Fire agency apparatus to save animals overcome with smoke. Visit their website at http://www.helpanimalsinc.org/ to learn more and help!