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'Furry' good news for pet owners in Ashford

‘Furry’ good news for pet owners in Ashford

KFRS takes delivery of pet oxygen masks at Smiths Medical in Ashford.jpg
KFRS takes delivery of pet oxygen masks at Smiths Medical in Ashford

27 July 2016

Pet owners across Ashford and the surrounding area will be breathing a sigh of relief as Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) takes delivery of new animal oxygen masks, to boost pet safety.

The specially designed pet masks were donated by Smiths Medical Specialty Team and not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws, and were officially handed over on Wednesday 27 July 2016. The masks will be carried on fire engines in Tenterden, Wye, Aldington, Dymchurch and Hythe, and form part of a county-wide initiative for every fire engine in Kent to carry a set.














Station Manager, Dave Nolan who has been leading the project for KFRS said: “If there’s a fire in your home most of us would try to get out as quickly as possible. While your pet will be just as terrified as you, it’s more likely to run and find a place to hide, so they could potentially be in a smoke filled space for longer.”

In the 12 months to 23 July 2016, 48 cats or dogs have been caught up in domestic fires that KFRS has attended, some of which have resulted in the pets being given oxygen. As recently as the weekend a pet dog was rescued from a house fire in Gravesend and was treated for the effects of breathing in smoke. Firefighters used their new oxygen masks to save the beloved pet.

Dave added: “We are grateful to Smiths Medical Surgivet® and Smokey Paws for providing this new kit, which will enable us to help pets that need medical attention in the immediate aftermath of a fire. We know that pets are precious to people and owners often put their own lives at risk to rescue them although we would always advise against returning to any burning building.”

Smiths Medical Senior Business Manager Specialty Business, Linda Wilmin said: “Today is a ‘pawfect’ day for pet safety in Ashford.  Smiths Medical has a desire to contribute positively in the communities in which we operate.  This was the ‘purrfect’ opportunity to support such a great cause.  It has been a delight working with Smokey Paws and their commitment to have masks on all fire engines to save pets is remarkable.  We are honoured to donate to KFRS and support Smokey Paws in the future.

Lynn Carberry from Smokey Paws said: “The five sets of masks being given to KFRS supports the fantastic efforts that has already equipped 75% of Kent’s fire stations and were made possible by Smiths Medical Surgivet®, who actually manufacture the masks.

“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.”

Smokey Paws is actively encouraging members of the public or Kent and Medway businesses to make donations so that these pet oxygen masks are available at all fire stations across the county.  People can donate via their website

Lynn added: “We raise the money for the life-saving pet oxygen masks and replacements via public donations and company sponsorship. Everyone can become involved; schools can arrange fundraisers and we are seeking shops willing to take our donation boxes.”

KFRS takes delivery of pet oxygen masks at Smiths Medical in Ashford.jpg
KFRS takes delivery of pet oxygen masks at Smiths Medical in Ashford
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