A dozen pet oxygen mask kits donated to first responders | News

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A dozen pet oxygen mask kits donated to first responders

SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A generous donation of a dozen pet oxygen mask kits to first responders in Biddeford and Saco will have pets, and their owners, breathing easier if they are the victims of a fire.

"The conventional methods of the fire fighter using his own mask and stuff, that was our last ditched efforts in the old days," explained veteran Saco Fire Captain Luke Godbout.  "Today, with this new technology, I suspect if everything goes well, we will be having quite a few more pets resuscitated and a lot more happy faces at these fires."

The kits contain three different sized masks, designed to wrap snugly around the muzzle of most cats and dogs and help them get badly needed oxygen if they are suffering from smoke inhalation or another form of respiratory distress.

"It has made a huge difference for the fire fighters and EMT's," stated Bobby Silcott, a Naples fire fighter who has spent the past two years scouring for donations to buy the kits and training the members of the departments he provides them to.

"The ultimate goal is to equip every fire/rescue apparatus in the state of Maine that carries oxygen," said Silcott.  So far, the Maine Pet Oxygen Mask Project has donated 152 units to departments across the state.

Six units were given to first responders in both Biddeford and in Saco.  They were donated by Invisible Fence of Southern Maine and Sea Coast New Hampshire.

Aside from the three reusable oxygen masks, the kits also contain laminated instructions to help crews perform CPR on dogs and cats, as well as leash and bag to use to help calm and control the injured animals. 

Silcott says each kit costs about $75.  If you would like more information about the Maine Pet Oxygen Mask Project, or to make a donation, you can find a link to their Facebook page by clicking here.