Categories: Featured News

Specially adapted oxygen masks for pets donated to London Fire Brigade

firefighter and cat

Share this content


Not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws has donated equipment designed especially for pets to London Fire Brigade. The kits are made up of three sizes of domestic pet oxygen therapy masks, two rope leads and two sizes of muzzle.

A cat rescued from a house fire has become the first pet in London to benefit from a donation of specially adapted oxygen masks. Crews tackled a house fire in Paddington where firefighters rescued two cats from the ground floor, and one was given oxygen using one of the new masks.

Station Officer Nathan Beeby, who was at the scene, said: “Crews did a great job in challenging conditions to tackle this house fire and then were able to focus on the pets they had rescued.

“Having something specially designed made so much difference as the mask is properly sealed around the animal’s muzzle and all the oxygen is going into their lungs.

“The crews all thought it was a great piece of equipment that was easy to use with the training they had all had, quick to get to work with and ultimately saved the cat’s life.

“Having the specialist equipment there also put the occupier at ease and they were really happy with the outcome.”

Initially the masks will be carried on fire engines in Battersea, Paddington, Richmond and Hammersmith as part of a pilot scheme. If the trial is a success, the kits will be rolled out to stations across the city.

The Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Operational Policy, Dave O’Neill, said: “Of course a firefighter’s priority is always to save any human life, but we know how precious people’s pets are to them and we also know owners will put their own lives at risk by trying to return to a burning building to rescue them.

“We know there’s been an increase in people getting pets during the pandemic and we are likely to see more animals involved in incidents, so we needed to improve our ability to respond appropriately.

“This new equipment will allow our crews to safely provide oxygen to any animals which need medical attention in the immediate aftermath of a fire. They will also bring a bit of hope and positivity to families in a traumatic situation.

“The equipment for pets builds on the Brigade’s significant investment in its equipment in recent years, including fire escape hoods, which are carried on all fire engines and are used to help bring people out through smoke filled environments safely, and the roll out of three 64m ladders – the tallest in Europe – and eight 32m ladders.”

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox