Fire departments get pet air masks

Published 3:40 pm Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fire departments are hoping to collect enough donations to be able to equip each fire truck in the county. Each set costs about $60.

Tryon Fire Chief Joey Davis says a regular air mask won&squo;t fit animals and on many occassions firefighters are also trying to save homeowners&squo; pets. He said a lot of animals try to hide during fires out of fear which can result in smoke inhalation.

Pet oxygen masks are growing in popularity around the region as several departments have used them to save pets. Veterinarians have used oxygen masks designed especially for animals for years, but it has only been recently that programs have begun to get emergency crews the right equipment to save pets.

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Donations (tax free) can be made to: Tryon Fire Department, P.O. Box 1461, Tryon, N.C. 28782.

Donors are asked to write&bsp; &dquo;pet masks&dquo; on the envelope when they mail it or drop it off at the station.