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  • More pet oxygen masks donated to fire stations

    Malcolm Hindle

    FIRE engines based in Southport are now carrying pet-friendly oxygen masks thanks to generous donations from animal lovers.

    The masks, provided by a charity called Smokey Paws, are part of a kit specially tailored for small household pets and larger animals.

    Following an initial trial of six masks rolled out across Merseyside, including Formby Community Fire Stations last September, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has now swelled its numbers of Smokey Paws masks.

    The new kits are now being carried on fire engines based at Community Fire Stations at Southport, Speke, Kirkdale and Old Swan, Bootle & Netherton, Eccleston, Upton and Wallasey.

    It means that every borough in Merseyside has a pet-friendly oxygen mask on at least one appliance.

    Costing £90 each, the kits consist of three pet-sized oxygen masks that can be used for a variety of animals. They also include oxygen tubes, muzzles and a slip lead in case an animal becomes agitated while being rescued.

    They range in size to fit small pets such as hamsters, snakes, dogs and cats and larger animals such as sheep and horses, and are designed to fit snugly around the snout of animals to ensure a better flow of oxygen.

    Group Manager Rob Pritchard, who has worked closely with Smokey Paws to help procure the masks for MFRS fire engines, said: “It’s fantastic to now have pet oxygen masks on appliances at five fire stations in Liverpool.

    “We are incredibly grateful to the people and organisations who have helped raise money to allow us to boost our numbers of the Smokey Paws kits. They will vastly improve our chances of reviving many more animals in Liverpool who have suffered smoke inhalation at fires.

    “Once animals have been rescued they often, much like humans, require some form of oxygen therapy to assist in their immediate care and recovery. These masks are specifically designed to fit the faces of different animals and mean we can tailor our response to the individual pet involved in the incident.

    “Pets are an enormous part of any family, so we are thrilled that we have more of this life-saving equipment on fire engines in the city. It would be wonderful if we could eventually have a kit on an appliance at every station in Merseyside.”

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