Fire engines across Cornwall to carry oxygen masks for pets thanks to local donations

Cornwall’s fire investigation dogs have given a big ‘paws up’ in thanks for the donation of life saving equipment for animals which will now be carried on fire appliances.

The kits, which feature specially designed pet oxygen masks and will be used to help save the lives of pets in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning incident, will now be available on at least one fire engine at each of Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service’s 31 community fire stations.

Donations from Helston-based The Dog House Grooming Company and the RSPCA mean that all on-call stations will now have the kits. Last year Pets at Home donated masks for Cornwall’s wholetime (full time) fire stations at Tolvaddon and Falmouth.

To thank them for their donation, Cornwall’s fire investigation dogs Archie and Woody met with representatives from the three organisations at Helston Community Fire Station.

Kathryn Kelly from The Dog Grooming Company, said: “We have lots of local customers in south Cornwall and their animals are members of their family. They would be devastated if anything were to happen to them and these animal oxygen masks can make all the difference.”

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RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “The bond between people and their pets can be incredible strong and so losing a pet in a house fire can be hugely traumatic. Our pets are vulnerable to the dangers of house fires, and particularly smoke inhalation, just like us. The fire and rescue services do a wonderful job, we’d like to help them not only save the lives of people but also of beloved pets who can be caught up in devastating and terrifying fires. By providing special animal oxygen kits for fire engines in Cornwall, we hope to enable our brave and heroic firefighters to save even more lives.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “I would like to thank the charities for their kind donations. While none of us would want to experience a fire, I hope the availability of this equipment will give comfort to residents who will know their pets will be cared for should the worst happen.”

The kits, created by not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws, include pet oxygen masks in three sizes, a lead and a muzzle in case a rescued animal becomes agitated.   

Brian Lockyer from Smokey Paws said: We urge members of the public and other businesses to support our campaign and join us to get a set of the masks on each of the 3,000 fire engines in the UK.  Every pet deserves the best chance of survival and we know these masks save lives.”