Boston firefighters get oxygen masks for cats and dogs
No furry chum need fear the smoke-choke
Firefighters in Boston say they are equipping every fire engine in the city with special oxygen masks intended for use by cats and dogs.
"Smoke doesn't discriminate," Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald told Reuters, commenting on the furry-chum smoke-choke prevention equipment rollout.
Rather than being intended for wear by canine or feline fire operatives plunging into burning buildings to rescue people in the style of Lassie or similar - compressed-air kit would of course be more normal in such a role - the masks are meant for therapeutic use. A man's best friend, or alternatively a freeloading moggy, having been plucked from the fiery jaws of death by a regular helmeted hero, might find its lungs messed up by smoke and unequal to the task of sustaining life.
But placed on oxygen the lungs have an easier time and such a furry casualty would then have a greatly improved chance of survival.
There would be no obvious application in the case of cats stuck up trees, however.
Other uses for pet oxygen-breathing equipment have lately been found: we at the Reg have lately reported in passing on the case of the current world record holder for highest man+dog tandem freefall parachute jump, "Cara", who has jumped from such heights as to require oxygen. Cara's human henchman, Mike Forsythe, works as a canine parachuting instructor for military and search-and-rescue units around the world.
It's well known, of course, that America is one of the few nations to have parachute firemen: so perhaps the deployment of doggy oxygen masks by their ground-bound colleagues is a sign of things to come.
The Reuters report can be viewed here. ®
Some may scoff but consider that to some their beloved cat (Rule!) or dog (Drool!) is as important to them as any human member of their family, sometimes even more so.
As someone who was fortunate enough to have shared 17 years with a feline companion I welcome this news.
I realise this is a 'light' article but I am grateful. When I was 11 "a regular helmeted hero" pulled my pet dog from a housefire, and it died while I watched although he tried to feed it oxygen via a human face mask. I wouldn't wish that on any other child so I think this is an excellent idea. I've emailed the Massachusetts Vetinary Medical Association for the manufacturers contact details, and I hope to donate a few sets to my local fire-brigade. I wish I'd thought of it first but I am genuinely grateful to be shown this innovative piece of lateral thinking.
Just thinking out loud here
Cute little cuddly wuddly cat or dog (potentially injured) has just been pulled out of a burning building by strange masked men/women and then said stranger goes to strap a strange device over their muzzle.
I don't care if we're talking Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, my dog Skip... an injured/stressed animal is likely to react badly to that situation.
Just hope they provide the firefighters with some training on handling animals and a set of welders gloves.