Friday, December 17, 2010

Donation aims to save petsí lives

Invisible Fence gives oxygen masks to fire departments

Express Staff Writer

Wood River Fire & Rescue firefighter/EMT Brian Tuohy demonstrates the use of an oxygen mask designed for dogs and cats on his border terrier, Rinsey, Wednesday in Hailey. Photo by David N. Seelig

The first priority of firefighters when they respond to an emergency is to save human lives, but in some cases, pets suffering from smoke inhalation need their assistance, too.

Eight kits, each containing three oxygen masks specifically designed for resuscitating pets, were donated to Wood River Valley fire departments on Wednesday by Invisible Fence of Southern Idaho. Steve and Trina Benson, owners of the Hailey-based business, gave two kits each to the Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey fire departments and Wood River Fire & Rescue.

Wood River Fire & Rescue firefighter and emergency medical technician Brian Tuohy said the masks will help his department deal more easily with fire-related animal emergencies, which occur regularly.

Tuohy said one cat and one dog were resuscitated by personnel in his department recently using "mouth-to-snout" resuscitation methods.

"Both animals are doing fine," he said. "But these masks will help provide better outcomes in future, because they deliver higher concentrations of oxygen."

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