Every fire engine in Kent now carries oxygen masks for your pets

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Every fire station in Kent now carries animal oxygen masks

Pets in a sticky situation have been thrown a lifeline as Kent has become one of the first fire services in the country to install pet oxygen masks on all of its fire engines and at all of its fire stations.

Firefighters’ training also now includes a newly-designed pet first aid programme.

The county got its first sets of the life-saving masks this time last year and they were first used a few weeks later to save pet dog Maggie, following a Faversham house fire.

Since then they have been used on a horse in Romney Marsh following a horse box crash, on a Jack Russell dog trapped under a metal drain grill up to its neck in water and one incident where 12 cats and four dogs all received treatment.

Pet dog Maggie with Kent Firefighters. Picture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Pet dog Maggie with Kent Firefighters. Picture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service

The masks have been installed in the engines and at the stations following a sponsorship drive through the not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws, which saw businesses, charities, members of the public and other organisations chip in.

Fundraising events included a concert in Ashford featuring the Military Wives Choir.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s project lead David Nolan said: “We know just how important people’s pets are to them and the risks they will take to rescue them. Most pets will run and hide if they smell smoke or see flames. If there’s a fire in your home and you have to evacuate, its natural to want to save your pets, assuming you can do so easily and safely. If not, get out and call 999 – never put yourself at risk or your pet in greater danger by going back into a burning building to search for them.

“Tell fire crews where your pet is likely to hide and leave the search and rescue to us. Not only do all our fire engines carry life-saving pet oxygen masks, our firefighters will also be among the first in the country to receive enhanced pet resuscitation training, giving you and your much-loved pets the best chance of surviving the deadly effects of fire and smoke.”