Invisible Fence of Middle Tennessee aims to assist emergency personnel by continuing donations of animal oxygen masks.
General Manager Brian Atkinson said some emergency crews still do not have access to the specialized oxygen masks.
“Throughout the area that we cover, which is really of all of Middle Tennessee, we try to get out to every first responder [and] fire department to let them know we have these free masks for pets available,” Atkinson said. “We have been donating them for almost ten years now through our company.”
Invisible Fence donates the masks through the Project Breathe Program. Atkinson said in the past oxygen masks only helped humans.
“There was no oxygen rescue format available for pets,” Atkinson said. “First responders have oxygen masks that fit people but nothing that would work for an animal nose and specific head shape. ”
Pet oxygen masks have a deeper shape that fits over snouts. Atkinson said the design allows for a better oxygen seal.
“There is a rubber seal around that so they can put a seal around the dog’s mouth and nose. That can pump oxygen into the animal just like it would for a human,” Atkinson said. “You know when they strap it around your head and affixes to your face around your nose and mouth. ”
Atkinson said Invisible Fence also educates emergency crews on proper technique when administering oxygen to animals.
“What we educate them on mostly on is how to hold them, how to put it on. Many times these animals are under a lot of stress being in a situation like a fire,” Atkinson said. “You know, just how to comfort them, how to hold them, and put this on so that you can get through the awkward hoses and tanks and things to help them.”
Atkinson said Invisible Fence intends to continue playing a part in saving pets’ lives.
“We are constantly reaching out, telling people we have them and we work with the different stations,” Atkinson said. “And groups to let them know we have them and hope we save some lives.”
Face masks donated by Invisible Fence helped save a number of puppies from an Allons mobile home fire in January. To request a mask donation to your local emergency department, visit the Invisible Fence website.