In case of an emergency, it’s always important to have a plan and be prepared. October 8 to 14 is National Fire Prevention Week, and we want to highlight how one community is stepping up for animals.
This week the Brampton Fire and Emergency Services received a donation to better equip them to help furry family members in an emergency.
Dr. Tim Zaharchuk, owner and practicing veterinarian of Derrydale Animal Hospital, has had first-hand experience treating animals with fire related injuries. Together with Jeff Moynihan of Invisible Fence Brands, Dr. Zaharchuk made a donation of five pet-sized oxygen masks kits to the City of Brampton’s Fire Department on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
According to a City of Brampton spokesperson, their goal was to outfit newer fire trucks with life-saving apparatus and follows a previous donation made in 2013. The kits consist of three reusable animal-sized masks – the smallest are specially sized for small animals like cats, small dogs and rabbits while the larger masks can accommodate domestic animals weighing 50 pounds or more.
Tina Hickey, Fire/Life Safety Education Coordinator with Brampton Fire & Emergency Services, says different sizes of masks give first responders more options to rescue different animals. She says masks are specifically-designed to create a proper seal over the muzzle of a cat or dog to administer oxygen.
“I’ve worked with pets who have been victims of fires, and those experiences are part of what makes me so pleased to be involved in this donation,” says Dr. Zaharchuk. “Derrydale Animal Hospital, along with Invisible Fence Brands, will be able to help save pets lives by putting these masks in the hands of our first responders.”
Dr. Tim Zaharchuk, Jeff Moynihan and Brampton Fire, are proud to serve their community, and this donation facilitates a holistic approach to restoring households who have been exposed to a fire-related incident.
What should pet owners do in case of emergency?
Hickey says in case of fire, pet owners should take their pets or call for them as they exit the house quickly and safely.
“Pet owners need to get out fast – every second counts,” she says.
If pets are left inside, Hickey says it’s important to let the firefighters know pertinent information such as the pet’s favourite hiding places, where their food is located, etc.
As a preventative action, you can also place an “Emergency Preparedness” sticker on your front window to let responders know there’s a pet inside.
Visit http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week to learn more about fire prevention and how to be prepared.