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Fire engines to carry oxygen masks for livestock as rural crime increases

Oxygen masks designed to fit household pets and livestock will be carried by fire engines to help animals suffering from smoke inhalation after a blaze.



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Fire engines to carry oxygen masks for livestock as #ruralcrime increases

The kits come in three sizes to fit small pets such as dogs, cats, hamsters and snakes to larger animals such as sheep and horses.

 

Six engines in the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service fleet are the latest in the UK to carry the masks and related oxygen tubes, muzzles and a lead - in case an animal becomes agitated while being rescued.

 

The £90 kits have been provided by charity Smokey Paws and have already proved useful.

 

A dog was resuscitated following a chip pan fire at a home on Chancery Lane in St Helens earlier this month.

 


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The 12-year-old female terrier was semi-conscious following the fire and firefighters used the small pet oxygen mask to revive the dog.

 

Station manager Franny Hill said: "The pet oxygen mask was vital in bringing this lucky dog back to consciousness and the kits will be of benefit to crews who attend fires in future where animals are involved."

 

Smokey Paws wants to get additional kits on more fire engines both in Merseyside and across the country so that other animals can be helped.

 

Lynn Carberry, co-founder of Smokey Paws, said: "The masks we provide are specifically shaped to fit animals’ snouts properly when administering oxygen.

 

"Up until now, many fire services have been using human masks when treating animals which aren’t shaped effectively enough; our pet masks ensure as much oxygen can be administered as possible to the animal or pet in need."

The move follows a spike in rural arson attacks on farms across the country this year.

 

Farmer Alistair Hodnett, 44, in rural Dundee had been targeted three times in the space of five days in what he said were deliberate attacks.

 

He said he thought it had become a ‘bit of a craze’.

 

“Whoever it was seemed hell-bent on causing damage,” Mr Hodnett said.

 

NFU deputy president Minette Batters added: “It is important that farmers and authorities take the necessary precautions and remain vigilant to help reduce the risk of deliberate fires.

 

“Measures such as assessing your farm for risks, taking steps to remove risks and other actions such as maintaining firefighting equipment and a prepared fire action plan can go a long way to ensuring you are as prepared as possible in the event of a fire.

 

“Farmers should only attempt to fight the fire if it is safe to do so.”

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