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July 21, 2014

Warren Fire Department receives pet oxygen masks

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

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Kate Lochner, owner of Invisible Fence Brand of Shelby Township, and Warren firefighter/advanced emergency medical technician Jon Podolak help “Princess” demonstrate the use of an oxygen mask for dogs and other pets.

WARREN — Pets in Warren will breathe a little easier after a fire, thanks to a recent donation of 12 pet mask kits for the Warren Fire Department.

“It’s a national program through Invisible Fence Brand,” said Kate Lochner, owner of Invisible Fence Brand of Shelby Township, a franchise that serves customers in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Sanilac and Wayne counties. “Our goal one day is to have every department in the nation outfitted with masks.”

The 12 kits donated to the Warren Fire Department included masks in three sizes for various pets and a quick reference sheet illustrating their proper use.

Warren Fire Chief of EMS Amy Hart said the 12 kits would outfit the department’s entire fleet of frontline engines and medical transport rigs with the masks, which can be used to channel oxygen either directly or through a bag valve mask in the event a canine or feline patient isn’t breathing. 

Hart said pets pulled from structural fires are typically alert but lethargic. Firefighters attending a brief training session held in conjunction with the mask donation said “pet saves” normally involve animals that must be carried out.

“Sometimes they’re at the door. Sometimes we find them during a search,” Hart said.

Lochner said her franchise had donated 50 masks in its territory through Invisible Fence Brand’s “Project Breathe.”

“We’re obviously very passionate about pets and keeping them safe,” Lochner said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.