Donation to Jessamine County Fire District makes emergency aid possible for pets

Feb 9, 2015

Jessamine Journal (Serving Central Kentucky)

 

NICHOLASVILLE, KY (Jessamine Journal) - A recent donation from The Fetch Foundation will make it possible for county firefighters to give aid to animals rescued from burning buildings.

 

The Jessamine County Fire District recently received two FIDO BAGs from the nonprofit Fetch Foundation, which assistant chief Gerald Wheeler said will be placed on the county’s two front-line trucks.

 

FIDO BAGs contain emergency supplies specially designed for treating animals on the scene of a fire, including a conical oxygen mask that seals securely on a pet’s face.

 

Puppies rescued from a house fire in Jessamine County could have benefited from that kind of mask, Wheeler said.

 

“We just tried to adapt the human mask and tried to form it around the dog’s nose, went that route. It’s going to be a whole lot easier now,” Wheeler said.

 

The FIDO BAGs also contain burn sheets, bandages, rinsing saline, protective restraints and collapsible water dishes to help stabilize pets until they can be taken to an animal hospital or veterinarian. JCFD staff were trained to safely treat and transport animals by administering oxygen, performing first aid and using restraint methods available in the FIDO BAG, according to a JCFD news release.

 

Wheeler said JCFD has had a FIDO BAG before, but having two at a time should make pet owners feel safer because a FIDO BAG will be available on the scene of any fire JCFD responds to.

 

According to The Fetch Foundation, more than 40,000 American pets die each year from smoke inhalation, and half a million are affected by fires.

 

“We’ve got to evaluate risk and life before we go in to save an animal. We’d do more to save a human being, but we understand a pet’s a part of the family, too,” Wheeler said.

 

The Fetch Foundation was created in 2010 as a rescue organization, and later added a companion-animal program for veterans. Founder Marie Peck later developed the FIDO BAG and the organization now works to provide the kit to fire departments nationwide.

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