West Florence goes extra mile to save pets' lives

WEST FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A Pee Dee fire department is touting new equipment aimed at protecting and helping to save even more lives.

The new devices will be used for pets.

"We're very fortunate to have this equipment because we have had  number of incidents within the last few years, including animals inside of structure fires," said West Florence Fire Capt. Anthony Fox.

Fox said the oxygen masks will improve the service the fire department provides to the area it serves.

The masks were donated by the Invisible Fence Brand.

"What we were doing was using the current equipment we currently have, which would be for a human," Fox said.

Now, the special shape of the new masks allows for oxygen to get to furry patients better.

"We are in the business of saving the lives of pets," said Jeremy Streba, divisional manager for Invisible Fence Brand of the Coastal Carolinas.

Since 1998, the Invisible brand has saved an estimated 10,000 pets from fire-related deaths by distributing the masks to fire departments around the country.

"Dogs have muzzles, cats have muzzles and these items are able to fit directly over those muzzles and deliver oxygen to them," Streba added.

In total, the West Florence Fire Department got four sets of the devices.

Each set has a small, medium and large mask.

"To have the equipment to treat the pets - although we hope that need doesn't arise - is a great benefit to our department," Fox said.

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