Fire department receives donation of pet rescue supplies

To help firefighters administer oxygen to animals that have been stricken during a fire, the Minneapolis Fire Department accepted a donation of 19 pet oxygen masks from Invisible Fence Co. of Minnesota on Friday, Dec. 18. The masks were accepted during an event at City Hall where City Council Member Gary Schiff’s dog "Lola" and representatives from Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART) performed a demonstration of how rescuers can use the masks to help save pets’ lives in emergencies.

It is estimated that more than 40,000 pets die in fires each year, with most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis. The donation of these specially-designed and potentially lifesaving oxygen mask sets will enable Minneapolis firefighters to efficiently administer oxygen to a stricken animal.

Beginning in 2005, the City of Minneapolis Fire Department received extensive training on the use of this animal rescue equipment as well as 32 oxygen mask kits from Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART), a non-profit organization run by volunteers in the veterinary profession and supported by community donations. BART’s mission is to empower firefighters and other first responder personnel with the training, knowledge, and equipment necessary to safely and effectively handle domestic animals in emergency situations, in order to help preserve human health, safety and well being. BART has trained and equipped over 3,000 first responder personnel in Minnesota since December of 2004.

Published Dec 18, 2009