Lifestyle

London Fire Brigade Are Now Giving Oxygen Masks To Rescued Pets

If risking their lives for others wasn’t quite enough, the London Fire Brigade have only gone and started caring for rescued pets with these adorable oxygen masks.

Last Friday afternoon (July 8) this Paddington-based cat (pictured above) became the first to benefit from the brand new equipment kits, which were donated to the fire brigade by not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws.

Image: London Fire Brigade

These packs are made up of three sizes of oxygen masks for pets, two rope leads and two sizes of muzzle. Two cats were rescued at this fire last week, and one was able to receive oxygen through a mask for the first time.

Plus, the equipment isn’t strictly limited to cats, coming in handy for dogs, rabbits, snakes, mice and other animals that need medical attention after a house fire. Previously, firefighters would have to attempt to revive pets that had inhaled smoke, but these masks are sure to be the perfect solution going forward.

Station Officer Nathan Beeby, who was at the scene, said: “Crews did a great job in challenging conditions to tackle this house fire and then were able to focus on the pets they had rescued. Having something specially designed made so much difference as the mask is properly sealed around the animal’s muzzle and all the oxygen is going into their lungs.

“The crews all thought it was a great piece of equipment that was easy to use with the training they had all had, quick to get to work with and ultimately saved the cat’s life. Having the specialist equipment there also put the occupier at ease and they were really happy with the outcome.”

Oxygen masks for pets will initially be used on fire engines in Battersea, Paddington, Richmond and Hammersmith as a trial. If successful, they will be rolled out across the entire city.

Initially, the masks will be carried on fire engines in Battersea, Paddington, Richmond and Hammersmith as part of a pilot scheme. If the trial is a success, the kits will be rolled out to stations across the city. London Fire Brigade have attended over 100 fires involving pets since 2019, and this new breakthrough could be key in ensuring they receive the best help they can.

The Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Operational Policy, Dave O’Neill, said: “This new equipment will allow our crews to safely provide oxygen to any animals which need medical attention in the immediate aftermath of a fire. They will also bring a bit of hope and positivity to families in a traumatic situation.

“The equipment for pets builds on the Brigade’s significant investment in its equipment in recent years, including fire escape hoods, which are carried on all fire engines and are used to help bring people out through smoke filled environments safely, and the roll out of three 64m ladders – the tallest in Europe – and eight 32m ladders.”