When firefighters were called to an apartment fire this month, they rescued six cats and revived them with special animal oxygen masks donated by Companion Animal Advocates
The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that more than 40,000 pets are killed in house fires each year, most from smoke inhalation. The majority of fire departments are only permitted to purchase live-saving equipment for humans.
Companion Animal Advocates aims to ensure thatvevery town in Bergen County also has this equipment to rescue pets from smoke inhalation. With a recent donation to the emergency-medical services department at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Companion Animal Advocates has nearly reached its goal, vice president Christine Devereaux said.
“Over the last two years, 115 people or groups have participated in the project, donating $100 for each set of masks,”Devereaux said. “They have also provided kits to firefighters and first responders — whoever carries the oxygen to emergency calls — in Paterson, Passaic, Clifton, West Milford, Little Falls, North Haledon, Prospect Park and Hawthorne in Passaic County.”
In the past, emergency workers have had to make do with human oxygen masks for pets. The new fitted masks will make a big difference.