’If it saves one pet, it’s worth it’: First responders using new oxygen masks for animals

Updated: Jul. 10, 2019 at 11:16 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - First responders are integrating a new tool that will help save your family pet’s life. Madison County firefighters and medics will now carry oxygen masks for animals.

James Barnette, a 37-year paramedic, raised money for the masks.

Each kit comes with three different size masks, instructions and a leash for the dog.

“If the fire department does find them and they bring them out they’re in severe respiratory distress," explained Barnette. “With this kit we can immediately give them direct oxygen and get them going. In worst case scenario, start CPR.”

Tuesday, the Lexington, Kentucky fire department used the mask to help save a dog’s life after a massive apartment fire. The Herald Leader reports a firefighter removed the 4-year-old Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix Bella from the building. Officers began resuscitating the dog and summoned the owner to the dog to comfort it.

To outfit each fire department in Madison County, 58 kits were ordered at $60 a piece. The total is $3,480.

“It’s a project that’s very dear to me and I want to make sure it happens," said Barnette.

Thursday, he plans to present the masks to the fire departments at a monthly Fire Association meeting. Next, he will get the masks to all departments across North Alabama.

By his own volition, James has come up with the money himself. If you’d like to help him, click here.

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