Attleborough Fire Station crew raises money for animal oxygen masks to rescue dogs and cats

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for th

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for the funds to buy ten breathing apparatus kits for pets. From left, front, watch manager Mark Wilson, and fire fighter Craig Obey. Back, crew manager John Syer, crew manager Luke Waters, fire fighter James Harper, and fire fighter Adrian Wilder. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

It is not only humans that are caught up in fires, road accidents and other emergencies - their pets can be affected as well.

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for th

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for the funds to buy ten breathing apparatus kits for pets. From left, front, watch manager Mark Wilson, and fire fighter Craig Obey. Back, crew manager John Syer, crew manager Luke Waters, fire fighter James Harper, and fire fighter Adrian Wilder. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

That is why the team at Attleborough Fire Station organised a fundraiser to pay for a specially-made 'smokey paws' oxygen mask for dogs and cats.

And the appeal was so successful it raised more than £950, enough for 10 pet oxygen masks - nine of which will be donated to other fire stations across Norfolk.

Mark Wilson, Attleborough Fire Station's watch manager, said the new equipment would go a long way towards saving pets' lives.

He said: 'We first had experience of it last year when we adapted a face mask from our trauma care bag to give to give cats and dogs that were overcome by smoke some O2.'

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for th

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for the funds to buy ten breathing apparatus kits for pets. From left, front, watch manager Mark Wilson, and fire fighter Craig Obey. Back, crew manager John Syer, crew manager Luke Waters, fire fighter James Harper, and fire fighter Adrian Wilder. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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Mr Wilson said the masks could be used not only to treat smoke inhalation, but also to give oxygen therapy after a pet had suffered a trauma.

He said: 'They can be used for a cat or dog that has been involved in a road traffic accident, or anything where oxygen might increase the chance of survival.'

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Mr Wilson said the pet masks cost around £90 each and resembled a cone, which covered the animal's nose and mouth. In the past, the crew has made do with using oxygen masks designed for humans on pets.

The fire crew's fundraiser included a well-attended coffee-and-cake day which was supported by businesses in the town, and Old Buckenham Primary School also ran a teddy raffle and donated the proceeds to the appeal.

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for th

The Attleborough fire crew with Barney the Jack Russell, as they thank Attleborough residents for the funds to buy ten breathing apparatus kits for pets. From left, front, watch manager Mark Wilson, and fire fighter Craig Obey. Back, crew manager John Syer, crew manager Luke Waters, fire fighter James Harper, and fire fighter Adrian Wilder. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The fire crew attended an assembly at the school to thank them for their efforts.

Mr Wilson said he was delighted with the support from the community. He said: 'We didn't expect the amount of support we got - it was brilliant.

'There were a lot of local dog walkers who heard about and supported the event and some individuals donated the cost of one kit each. We want to say a big thank you to everyone involved and who donated.'

The fire station has also made an appeal for new volunteers to bring it up to full strength. Mr Wilson said the crew trained on Monday evenings and made several call outs a week.

For more information call 07736391009 or email mark.wilson@fire.norfolk.gov.uk

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