SVFD Launches Project Breathe™
Thanks to a generous donation from Invisible Fence Inland NW, all 11 Spokane Valley Fire Department front line fire engines and ladder trucks are being equipped with Project Breathe™ Pet Oxygen Mask kits. Each bright red kit includes a small, medium and large mask along with tubing, laminated instructions and a slip lead for skittish pets.
SVFD Paramedic Nick Zambryski brought the opportunity forward after a conversation with Invisible Fence’s Heather Micek. She had been wanting to bring the national Invisible Fence program to the Spokane Valley to help keep pets safe. Since its inception, Project Breathe™ has distributed more than 22,000 kits and saved an estimated 10,000 pets from fires and smoke inhalation across the U.S.
“By placing Project Breathe™ pet oxygen kits on each front line apparatus, it ensures that if we need a mask we will have one available,” explained Zambryski. “Currently, only our Battalion Chiefs carry pet oxygen masks and they don’t always respond to small fires or smoke calls where there could be a pet in need.”
In order to support a successful program launch, SVFD produced a training video featuring a local veterinarian along with Zambryski and fellow crew members, Oden the dog and Copper the cat. The video includes the basics of pet CPR, signs of smoke inhalation distress in pets and a demonstration of the oxygen masks in action. All SVFD firefighters are viewing the training video this month, as the kits are distributed. Thanks Invisible Fence Inland NW for caring about pet safety!