West Springfield Fire Department receives donation to protect pets

Hampden County

The West Springfield Fire Department received pet oxygen masks as part of Project Breathe, an initiative from the Invisible Fence Company.

In times of emergency, for many people, their pets are their priority. 

Lillian Martino, a dog owner, told 22News, “I was in the tornado a few years ago. The first thing I grabbed was my dog.”

Roughly 40,000 pets die in fires every year, most of them succumbing to smoke inhalation. 

Lieutenant C.J. Bartone of the West Springfield Fire Department said, “We found a lot of times that we would be able to rescue pets out of the home, but then we wouldn’t have a way to render aid to them once we had gotten them out of the home.”

That’s why the Invisible Fence Company started Project Breathe, The charitable program donates pet oxygen masks in three different sizes to fire departments across the country. Invisible Fence of Western Massachusetts donated three masks to the West Springfield Fire Department last week. 

“Most instances people try to get out of the home obviously, but pets will try to hide,” Lt. Bartone said. “So they can be inside the building longer than humans, so therefore once we get them out, now we’re able to provide them aid.”

Martino told 22News, “It’s a great idea. Cause if your pets are stuck in a fire, and you can get saved using the oxygen mask, that would be great.”

You can send this link to your local fire department, and encourage them to apply for the program. 

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