Kingsport Fire Chief Craig Dye holds an oxygen mask designed for dogs and cats. A donation from Dreana Mowen funded the equipment to improve the chances of area pets surviving a house fire. Photo by David Grace.
KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Fire Department and a local, concerned citizen are working to make it possible for our four-legged friends to have a better chance of surviving a house fire.
Last month, the KFD placed newly donated pet rescue kits in each of its fire stations to be used on cats and dogs in the case of a fire emergency, to help treat an animal for fire and smoke inhalation.
The kits consist of three different sized masks designed especially for pets, the two larger ones are longer and likely used on dogs, while the smallest of the three will typically be used on cats. The masks are similar to those used on humans, but have a rubber ring on the inside to fit snugly over the animal’s snout and a small plastic tube connects to an oxygen tank.
“Usually the animals will just come running out when we open the door,” said Chief Craig Dye. “I’ve had times when they almost knock you down and times when we find them when unconscious or not feeling good. We’ll hold the mask over their face, but not get a good seal.”
Barry Brickey, public information officer for the KFD, said the kits can provide better treatment to an animal that has been rescued from a fire, due to the snugness of the seal. In addition to the kits, firefighters will also be reviewing pet CPR procedures.For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.