Animals from hamsters to horses stand a better chance of survival thanks to kits donated to Cambridgeshire fire crew

PUBLISHED: 17:20 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 22 February 2017

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue crew across the county are being trained in how to use pet friendly masks PHOTO: Cambs Fire and Rescue

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue crew across the county are being trained in how to use pet friendly masks PHOTO: Cambs Fire and Rescue

Archant

Animals caught up in a blaze or traumatic rescue stand a better chance of survival thanks to a special kit provided by a charity that is being used by all fire stations across Cambridgeshire.

The kit can be used for animals ranging from hamsters, snakes, dogs, cats and larger animals like sheep and horses.

Training in the masks is now complete for fire crews across the county thanks to firefighter Neil Hoskin who extended his retirement date to complete it.

Neil took his five-year-old Husky, Lexie, to demonstrate how to put an animal mask on to a dog and said previously firefighters had to use human oxygen masks which didn’t work as well.

He said: “�The benefit of having these masks is that it works better for the animals and helps to protect the firefighters too.

“If the animal comes round quicker than you expect then they act a bit like a muzzle, even though they are not designed to be used as a muzzle.

“They are not just for fires and smoke inhalation. They can be used to help revive an animal after blood loss, trauma, drowning, even heat exhaustion.

“All the reasons you would give oxygen to a human for, you would do the same for an animal.”�

Lynn Carberry, founder of the charity Smokey Paws, said: “�Where a human oxygen mask will give a pet around 10 per cent oxygen, these pet masks will give the pet 90 per cent oxygen.

“�We were helped in our mission by great dedicated volunteers, like Neil, and members of the public to help us raise funds to donate the masks to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“We have enjoyed working with the service and would like to thank them for their hard�work and dedication to save every life they can.”

• Smokey Paws provides the four-legged friendly first aid equipment to services across the UK and relies on donations and fundraising from individuals and organisations. Visit www.smokeypaws.co.uk.�

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