Veterinarians Join With First Responders To Care For Pets

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O2 mask

South Carolina Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care (SCVSEC), in partnership with the SCVets Care Foundation of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, today donated 36 lifesaving pet oxygen kits to Lexington County Fire Services. Equipping all front line fire trucks in the county with these oxygen masks, designed specifically for animals, will allow firefighters the opportunity to properly administer oxygen support to animals in an emergency situation.

“Smoke inhalation can have devastating consequences. Oxygen therapy provided on the scene by first responders can mean the difference between life and death for these animals. For us this is about keeping these beloved family members out of the hospital and with their families,” said Tristan Weinkle, DVM, DACVIM, of SCVSEC. “Lexington County firefighters have always done everything they can to save pets in fires; having these kits with oxygen masks properly designed for animals should make their jobs a little easier.”

Pet Oxygen Kit Project coordinators Mary Ellen Tobias and Nena Sinclair purchase the masks through donations, fundraising, sponsorships and contributions from veterinarians in South Carolina. Tobias and Sinclair have already equipped all fire trucks in Richland, Kershaw and Fairfield Counties and numerous fire departments in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

“We started with the goal of providing kits for all fire trucks in South Carolina,” said Tobias. “With the support of SCVSEC and SCAV, this donation of kits to Lexington County Fire Services is our largest donation to date, for which we and the precious animals are so very grateful.”

Pet oxygen kits include:

  • Three oxygen masks—one small, one medium and one large mask
  • Three oxygen air tubes, one for each mask
  • Laminated instruction sheet
  • Kennel lead for animal restraint and control
  • Two animal incident report forms for responders
  • Pet rescue notice forms
  • Training materials
  • Warranty on parts

“These kits make it much easier for our firefighters to help animals after smoke inhalation,” said Deputy Fire Chief Dean Anderson, with Lexington County Fire Services. “We’re grateful to have the best tools available to meet our goal of saving all lives.”