Fire Departments Get New Tech to Save Pets


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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Valley fire departments are getting new technology to make sure your pets don't die in a fire. It's all part of a pet oxygen mask donation program.

Vet-tech students at Blue Ridge Community College are working with the Invisible Fence brand to get the masks to the Swoope Fire Department. As many as 150,000 pets die each year in fires.

Many of those deaths result from pets inhaling too much smoke during a fire. When first responders get to the scene with these new masks, they'll be able to deliver life-saving oxygen to your furry friends.

"I've seen it first hand. I've seen it happen. It's really amazing to be able to hand somebody's pet back to them alive," shared Chief Kevin Wilkes from the Swoope Fire Company.

So far, almost 3,000 of these masks have been delivered across the country.

It's a mission that these students are passionate about.

"When we found out that our fire house didn't have the supplies to save our animals from fires, it was just more of a drive that needed to be done, especially in our county where our school is," explained BRCC student, Jessica Griffin.

Harrisonburg Fire Department says they're expecting a similar delivery coming up next week.


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