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Lighthouse Point Fire Department Receives Pet Oxygen Masks

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By Marie Puleo, News Reporter

The Lighthouse Point Fire Department recently received a donation of oxygen masks to treat pets suffering from smoke inhalation during a fire event.

Each of the department’s four rescue trucks is now equipped with a kit containing a small, medium and large pet oxygen mask. The masks, which are reusable, were a donation from Invisible Fence through its Project Breathe Program.

Invisible Fence, based in Tennessee, is the company that created a system to contain pets in their yards using a wire buried around the property and a transmitter that sends a digital signal to the pet’s collar when it approaches the invisible boundary.

Jimmy O’Brien and Sean Bunker, the East Coast representatives of Invisible Fence of Florida, came to the Lighthouse Point Fire Department to present the mask kits.

“Our goal is to get these pet oxygen masks in every fire truck and emergency unit across the country and Canada,” said O’Brien. “Pet safety is what we do, and this is just another way that we can help keep pets safe.”

The specially-designed masks can be used both on conscious pets that have suffered from smoke inhalation and pets that need to be resuscitated after losing consciousness from exposure to dangerous toxic fumes. The masks can also be used to reverse the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, and in drowning situations. They can be placed on dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and other pets.

“I’ve used these before and they’re tremendous,” said Lighthouse Point Fire Department Assistant Chief Tony Long.

Since Project Breathe’s inception in 2006, more than 25,000 masks have been donated to first responders across the U.S. and Canada, including hundreds of masks in Florida. Based on reports received from fire departments, the donated masks have saved over 200 pets during the life of the program, said O’Brien.

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