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Fire department given treats to help save pets

By jim Published: April 29, 2010

By Kathy Antoniotti
Beacon Journal staff writer

Fellow firefighters were quick to volunteer paramedic Dan Garrett of Akron's Station No. 13 to demonstrate the correct way to administer oxygen to an animal Wednesday.

His patient, a 4-year-old lab mix named Dobie, was at the Morley Health Center with his owner, Kristin Rogers, to deliver and train firefighters to use the 13 pet oxygen kits donated by Invisible Fence of Northeast Ohio.

The company, which has donated 300 masks to fire departments throughout the Midwest in the past three years, contacted the city after reading that firefighters revived a dog in an early morning house fire on Princeton Street on Easter Sunday.

The National Fire Administration does not keep statistics on the number of pets that die in fires annually, but estimates indicate as as many as 40,000 succumb to smoke inhalation each year, Rogers said.

''Whatever the number, it's higher than it needs to be,'' said Rogers, retail marketing manager for the Chesterland, Ohio-based company.

''For many people, pets are considered a part of their family,'' she said.

Now, an apparatus from each of the 13 fire stations will be equipped with masks that first responders can use to revive dogs, cats and even birds during emergencies.

''Once we are there and after we take care of the people, we will be happy to assist their pets,'' said fire Capt. Al Bragg.

But people shouldn't call the department for other pet-related emergencies, said Capt. Charles Twigg, the department's Emergency Medical Service manager.

''We don't want people to think we can respond to pet injuries,'' he said.

On Wednesday, Rogers offered to provide an additional kit for the K-9 officer assigned to the SWAT emergency unit.

The masks, which come in small, medium and large sizes, regulate the amount of oxygen recommended for each size animal. They fit tightly over the animals muzzle, creating a seal.

''So far, we know that at least 12 pets have been revived. After 15 or 20 minutes they are back on their feet and were able to get veterinary care,'' Rogers told firefighters.

A dog in Toledo was revived with a mask after it had fallen through the ice, she said.

Garrett said although he owns a dog, a cat and a fish, he wasn't sure why fellow firefighters singled him out.

''I think it was just because I was standing up there,'' he said.

However, as is fire department tradition, he said he is willing to buy the members of his station house ice cream after his name and photo appear in print.

With a shrug, Garrett indicated that it's all part of the job.


Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or kantoniotti@thebeaconjournal.com.




Akron firefighter paramedic Dan Garrett (left) works with Invisible Fence Company Retail Marketing Manager Kristin Rogers as she demonstrates the proper use of a animal oxygen mask on Dobie to a group of Akron firefighter paramedics. The Invisible Fence Company donated 13 animal oxygen mask kits to the Akron Fire Department. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)



Fellow firefighters were quick to volunteer paramedic Dan Garrett of Akron's Station No. 13 to demonstrate the correct way to administer oxygen to an animal Wednesday.

His patient, a 4-year-old lab mix named Dobie, was at the Morley Health Center with his owner, Kristin Rogers, to deliver and train firefighters to use the 13 pet oxygen kits donated by Invisible Fence of Northeast Ohio.

The company, which has donated 300 masks to fire departments throughout the Midwest in the past three years, contacted the city after reading that firefighters revived a dog in an early morning house fire on Princeton Street on Easter Sunday.

The National Fire Administration does not keep statistics on the number of pets that die in fires annually, but estimates indicate as as many as 40,000 succumb to smoke inhalation each year, Rogers said.

''Whatever the number, it's higher than it needs to be,'' said Rogers, retail marketing manager for the Chesterland, Ohio-based company.

''For many people, pets are considered a part of their family,'' she said.

Now, an apparatus from each of the 13 fire stations will be equipped with masks that first responders can use to revive dogs, cats and even birds during emergencies.

''Once we are there and after we take care of the people, we will be happy to assist their pets,'' said fire Capt. Al Bragg.

But people shouldn't call the department for other pet-related emergencies, said Capt. Charles Twigg, the department's Emergency Medical Service manager.

''We don't want people to think we can respond to pet injuries,'' he said.

On Wednesday, Rogers offered to provide an additional kit for the K-9 officer assigned to the SWAT emergency unit.

The masks, which come in small, medium and large sizes, regulate the amount of oxygen recommended for each size animal. They fit tightly over the animals muzzle, creating a seal.

''So far, we know that at least 12 pets have been revived. After 15 or 20 minutes they are back on their feet and were able to get veterinary care,'' Rogers told firefighters.

A dog in Toledo was revived with a mask after it had fallen through the ice, she said.

Garrett said although he owns a dog, a cat and a fish, he wasn't sure why fellow firefighters singled him out.

''I think it was just because I was standing up there,'' he said.

However, as is fire department tradition, he said he is willing to buy the members of his station house ice cream after his name and photo appear in print.

With a shrug, Garrett indicated that it's all part of the job.


Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or kantoniotti@thebeaconjournal.com.

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