Springfield firefighters receive oxygen masks for pets

From the left, Springfield firefighter/EMT Derek Osborne, Lt. EMT Don Stites Jr, firefighter/EMT Brian Tanner, firefighter Kevin Dickerson, Captain/EMT Jeff Glodoski and Invisible Fence’s Jef Fox. CHERI REEVES

Invisible Fence, the company that creates the fences for pets, has donated five oxygen mask kits to the Springfield Fire Department to use for pets on fire scenes.

The masks were delivered to the Springfield Fire Station on Central Avenue on Monday, April 9.

The company calls its program Project Breathe, which donates emergency oxygen mask kits for pets to fire departments throughout the country.

To date, they’ve donated nearly 7,000 kits to fire fighters and first responders.

Springfield Fire Chief Jimmy Hamill said the masks will be distributed to all of their four fire engines and to one ladder truck.

Hamill said the masks will prove to be useful when they find pets suffering from smoke inhalation.

“When we are putting out a fire and come in contact with a pet, we usually do what’s called a blow-by,” Hamill said. “We use adult masks and put it close to the pet. If we put it on the pet, it would get too much force. The masks being donated will be more regulated to accommodate the lungs of the animal.”

Project Breathe’s Jef Fox said the masks come in three different sizes to fit pets of all sizes.

“We see providing these masks as an extension of what we already do with our invisible fencing,” Fox said. “We are trying to keep pets safe.”

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