First responders around central Ohio now carry pet-friendly rescue equipment


Firefighters make runs every day with one goal: saving lives. But what is riding on the truck could be the difference between life and death for the furry members of your family.

"We carry this on all our fire apparatus. In the kit is a mask that goes over the nose, mouth of the pet whether it be a cat or dog,” said Lieutenant Bivens of the Delaware Fire Department. They've used these oxygen masks a couple of times.

“We do periodically run into animals in house fires that need a little supplemental oxygen to get them going and back on their feet and this seems to work very well,” said Bivens.

Until recently, the use of this equipment has been a gray area for some departments. That's because state law said care to animals had to be administered by a licensed veterinarian. However, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 187 into law back in May which allows first responders to provide certain treatment to our pets.

“With some legal protection we don't have to worry about doing it,” said Bivens,

Fear no more. You can now find more comfort in knowing that firefighters have your pet covered too.

Some of the injuries we see on fires are patients that try to get back in the house to rescue their own pets and once they're out they should stay out and maybe call for the animals from the doorway or someplace safe that way,” said Bivens

Delaware is not the only department with this pet-friendly equipment. Marysville, Violet Township and Lancaster fire departments also have them. Meanwhile, the Newark Fire Department has used them eight times during the past two years alone.

Some departments have had the oxygen masks donated over the years. However once they have been used, they must be replaced. Newark has started to budget for the equipment. A set of three of those pet-friendly masks costs around ninety dollars.