Fire Chief Micheal Despain said recent donations make first responders with Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) some of the best-equipped in the nation to save a pet's life. Invisible Fence of the Heartland has donated 19 pet oxygen mask kits to LFR as part of the Invisible Fence® Brand's Project Breathe™ program. The Pet Care Center of Lincoln has committed to donate any additional pet oxygen mask kits needed in the future.
"Our firefighters are committed to doing their best every day to save lives, including the lives of pets," Despain said. "These new devices will help us save someone from unnecessary grief dealing with what is already a very traumatic event. We very much appreciate the partnership with Project Breathe™ and their kindness on behalf of the pet population within Lincoln."
The goal of the Project Breathe™ program is to equip every fire station in the U.S. and Canada with pet oxygen masks. The masks allow firefighters and EMS staff to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation. The company has donated more than 18,200 pet oxygen masks so far, and more than 170 pets have reportedly been saved by the donated masks.
"When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down," said Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence® Brand. "Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes. We realize that humans are the first priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment. Project Breathe™ program is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets' lives."
Although statistics on the number of pets that die in fires are not kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, it's estimated that 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, mostly from smoke inhalation.
Invisible Fence® Brand is the original electronic pet containment system. It is owned by Radio Systems Corporation in Knoxville, Tennessee. More information is available at invisiblefence.com.
More information on LFR is available at fire.lincoln.ne.gov.