ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood Area Fire Control District is prepared to administer oxygen to human fire victims overcome with smoke inhalation.
Now they are equipped to help resuscitate pets rescued from fires.
Thanks to veterinarian Anne Chauvet and the Critical Care and Veterinary Specialists of Sarasota, Englewood firefighters will be better able to administrate emergency care for dogs and cats. Chauvet donated six animal medical resuscitator-aspirator kits for the fire district’s first responders.
“By having these animal-specific resuscitation kits on our engines, our firefighters will now be able to deliver the same level of life-saving efforts to the smallest family members that we have been able to provide their owners,” Fire Chief Brian Gorski said in a prepared statement.
Chauvet made a similar donation to the Sarasota and Naples fire departments. Pets and humans experience similar symptoms from smoke inhalation, except the pets tend to hide when they are caught in a fire, she said.
Charlotte County fire battalion chiefs are also equipped with similar pet kits.
Gorski explained how it is important to put fire victims on high-flow oxygen to fight off any high levels of carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases inhaled by the victim. The same is true for pets.
“With an animal that we pulled out, we haven’t had the appropriate equipment,” Gorski said. “We’d use an adult (oxygen) mask, but it doesn’t make a good seal.”
The human oxygen masks have had what Gorski called “occasional success” resuscitating animals.
The donated kits each include three sizes of oxygen masks to fit cats, small dogs and large dogs. Each of the masks can slip over a pet’s muzzle and has a flexible rubber seal that ensures the pet is receiving a proper flow of oxygen. The pet oxygen masks are reusable.
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