ODESSA, TX (KWES) - We all know fire crews are equipped to help humans that are suffering from smoke inhalation, but have you ever wondered about your pet’s safety?
The Odessa Fire and Rescue department carries oxygen mask kits that are specifically designed for animals.
“The shape of our anatomy is going to be different. Like a K9 is going to have a snout. So if you look at this mask its actually a cone shape where their snout fits in their. And it has a rubber seal around it to get that tight seal.” said Daniel Chavez, a training captain with the department.
The tight seal allows the masks to deliver more oxygen to the pets that are in distress.
Chavez says he sees the masks used more than he would like as a dog-lover himself.
“A human instinctively will run out when theres a fire but pets will usually run and hide whether its underneath a bed or a closet. They don’t comprehend that they need to get out of the house. They’re just trying to find safety.” Chavez explained.
According to the department, the specialized kits cost around $60, where the typical oxygen mask costs around $8.
Chavez said the masks’ efficiency makes the cost worth it and urged any departments not currently carrying them to look into purchasing the animal life-saving tool.
“Sometimes it’s a blessing that we get to see this because these dogs sometimes come out lifeless but like I said earlier they are very resilient animals, and with the aggressive oxygen therapy a lot of times when we leave they are wagging their tail,” said Chavez.
According to Chavez, as firefighters, their goal is to rescue “every living being”.
“You just want to do what’s best for that animal... you want to do what’s best for that family’s family member.” Chavez said
The department believes that this shows the Odessa community that the department has invested in saving their furry family members in case of an emergency.