Do­nated pet oxy­gen masks help fire­fight­ers save 5 cats

Newark Post - - Local News - POST STAFF RE­PORT

Aetna Hose, Hook and Lad­der Co. EMTs are cred­it­ing do­nated pet oxy­gen masks with help­ing them save five cats who were pulled from a fire last week.

Spokesman John H. Farrell IV said an Aetna am­bu­lance was dis­patched May 20 to as­sist Chris­tiana Fire Com­pany with a fire in the Tim­ber­lane Trailer Park near Glas­gow. The am­bu­lance crew was there for fire­fighter re­hab but quickly found it­self “thrust into a dif­fer­ent role” when fire­fight­ers res­cued the cats and brought them to the am­bu­lance for care, Farrell said.

The EMTs used spe­cially de­signed oxy­gen kits to as­sist the dis­tressed pets. The pet oxy­gen kits, which in­clude three dif­fer­ent sized masks, were do­nated to Aetna last June by em­ploy­ees of the Glas­gow web host­ing com­pany Host­

As­sis­tant Chief Jeff Sands said at the time that Aetna has had an­i­mal masks be­fore, but it never had enough for all its crews. Typ­i­cally when fire­fight­ers en­counter pets with smoke in­hala­tion, they im­pro­vise by us­ing an oxy­gen mask made for hu­mans.

On av­er­age, Aetna ad­min­is­ters oxy­gen to an­i­mals a few times a year, Sands said, not­ing that hu­man vic­tims of fires are of­ten com­forted by know­ing that their pets are be­ing taken care of as well.

“Peo­ple will be gasp­ing for air them­selves, but the first thing they care about is their pet,” he said.

Last week’s in­ci­dent was the fourth time Aetna has put the do­nated masks to use, Farrell said.


Aetna Hose Hook, and Lad­der Co. EMTs treat cats with spe­cially de­signed pet oxy­gen masks.

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