Good news for cats as firefighters unveil special oxygen masks

By Jill Dando News

(PHOTO CREDIT FOR LONDON FIRE BRIGADE)

Its good news for cats across London. 

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) now have special mini oxygen masks for cats and other furry friends. 

They’ve been used to rescue two kitties from a house fire in Paddington

They fit perfectly over the cats’ little faces and are the first ever used by the brigade.

They are designed to be used on animals rescued from fires who have inhaled smoke. 

Two moggies were rescued from a house fire in Paddington, with one of them being revived by the contraption that was donated to the fire fighters by Smokey Paws, a non-profit organisation.

According to LFB, London firefighters have attended over 100 fires involving pets since 2019. Up until now fire fighters have had to improvise when resuscitating our smol friends.

Station Officer Nathan Beeby, who was at the scene, said: “Crews did a great job in challenging conditions to tackle this house fire and then were able to focus on the pets they had rescued.

“Having something specially designed made so much difference as the mask is properly sealed around the animal’s muzzle and all the oxygen is going into their lungs.

“The crews all thought it was a great piece of equipment that was easy to use with the training they had all had, quick to get to work with and ultimately saved the cat’s life.

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“Having the specialist equipment there also put the occupier at ease and they were really happy with the outcome.”

Photo Credit London Fire Brigade

Since 2019, London’s firefighters have attended more than 100 fires involving dogs, cats and other pets such as rabbits and hamsters.

The Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Operational Policy, Dave O’Neill, said: “Of course a firefighter’s priority is always to save any human life, but we know how precious people’s pets are to them and we also know owners will put their own lives at risk by trying to return to a burning building to rescue them.

“We know there’s been an increase in people getting pets during the pandemic and we are likely to see more animals involved in incidents, so we needed to improve our ability to respond appropriately.

“This new equipment will allow our crews to safely provide oxygen to any animals which need medical attention in the immediate aftermath of a fire. They will also bring a bit of hope and positivity to families in a traumatic situation.

“The equipment for pets builds on the Brigade’s significant investment in its equipment in recent years, including fire escape hoods, which are carried on all fire engines and are used to help bring people out through smoke filled environments safely, and the roll out of three 64m ladders – the tallest in Europe – and eight 32m ladders.”

Find out more about how you can support Smokey Paws here.

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