New Haven firefighters equipped to save more than just humans

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A donation announced Thursday means New Haven firefighters will now be able to save more than just human lives. Firefighters do more than rescue people. Every year in Connecticut they also save thousands of pets.

Sometimes those pets have inhaled smoke and stopped breathing.

“I’ve seen pets rescued during fires where firefighters did not have this equipment and even attempted mouth to muzzle, believe it or not,” said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston.

“Mouth to muzzle” resuscitation sounds strange, but that’s what firefighters have had to do. Until now.

“As of today, New Haven is among the growing number of fire departments equipped with special pet respirators,” Mayor Toni Harp, (D) New Haven, announced at a City Hall press conference this morning.

The Canine Company has donated respirator mask kits to the New Haven fire department They come in three different sizes. They usually cost $90 and New Haven now has 16 of them, one for each fire truck. Just last month, we saw the masks in use in West Haven, saving the lives of some cats. The New Haven ones are designed for dogs, and they’re simple to use

“You hook it up, it tells you the flow,” said. Chief Alston. “You fit the mask over and you are able to supply oxygen.”

The chief wanted to stress to the public that those masks will only be used in the course of regular firefighting. You cannot call the fire department if your dog is having trouble breathing or stopped breathing. The fire department will only respond to medical calls for humans.



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