Gallatin Fire Department gets new animal oxygen masks

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 20:27:29-04

GALLATIN, Tenn. — Gallatin firefighters have a new tool that will allow them to help even the smallest and furriest of fire victims - specifically pets that inhale smoke.

Nine sets of animal oxygen masks were donated to the department. They work better than typical masks made for humans.

"Most people have a pet in their home. When we go to pull them out, we want to have something to be able to rescue and give them oxygen. What we had before, it wasn't adequate," said Gallatin firefighter Colin Campbell.

Campbell said he got the idea to ask for mask donations from his old fire station in Brevard County, Florida.

He explained that animals react similarly to humans when they breath in too much smoke. Masks for humans don't fit over the snout of dogs or cats very well, making the animal masks a much more effective alternative.

"That's what you mostly find with these animals, they've inhaled a lot of smoke. A lot of times they're trying to search for their owner or their scared when people are coming in and fire is coming out, that's what it mostly is, we just need to get them on some oxygen in order for them to come back," he said.

Each of Gallatin's fire trucks are equipped with a set of the masks.