Bispham’s fire engine has been fitted with a new piece of life-saving equipment aimed at helping pets caught up in blazes.
From snakes and budgies to cats and dogs, the new pet resuscitation kit will be able to give oxygen to a range of animals, and was donated by Vets4Pets in Victoria Road West, Cleveleys.
Firefighter Pete Waywell said he approached the veterinary firm after seeing crews from Blackpool save a dog’s life after a kitchen fire in Lynwood Avenue, Layton, in late June.
He said: “It’s great. As a pet lover myself, I thought it was important we had one. It’s a great acquisition for us.”
He said every station across the Fylde coast now has a resuscitation pack – which have three oxygen masks in different sizes – except for St Annes, which is working to buy one.
“When animals have been in a fire, when you get them to the vets, they put them in oxygen tents,” he said.
“We are just starting the process. They are poisoned by the smoke and we try to counteract that.”
The masks are not funded by the fire service, but paid for by sponsors or through fundraising campaigns.
They are supplied by not-for-profit firm Smokey Paws, whose spokeswoman Lynn Carberry said last year: “The fire service tries hard to revive pets using human oxygen masks but these are not designed for use on animals.
“The pet oxygen masks are specifically designed for dogs, cats and smaller animals like rabbits, snakes and mice and therefore are more efficient than trying to use human masks.”
Simon Blackburn, practice manager at Vets4Pets said it raised the £90 through several events, including coffee mornings and raffles, after being approached by Pete.
He said it’s ‘very important’ for pets to be given oxygen if they have caught up in fires.
He added: “If a dog is in a fire and they need oxygen, this will save their life hopefully.”
Smokey Paws almost half of all households in the UK have animals, which is said tends to suffer smoke inhalation quicker than humans.
A pet died in a Fylde coast fire as recently as this month – when a dog died following a kitchen blaze at a bungalow in Gregory Place, Lytham.
Firefighters ‘tried to revive it but sadly it had died’ a spokesman said.
The fire, believed to have started when a frying pan was left unattended, was put out by firefighters wearing breaking masks and carrying a water jet.
Nobody else was hurt, but the kitchen was ‘gutted’ by fire, while the rest of the bungalow was badly damaged by smoke, the spokesman added.
He said a neighbour alerted the resident, an older man, to the fire while he was outside his home.