Butler County Times Gazette
  • Firefighters equipped to save pets

  • All Butler County fire stations are equipped with special oxygen masks for pets
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  • Many people consider their pets to be furry members of their families. But while people can teach their children what to do in the event of a house fire, it’s a little harder to train their pets for the same disaster.  
    But in Butler County, residents should be glad to know every single fire station is equipped with special oxygen masks for pets.
    “When we show up and someone is outside screaming that their pet is inside, we are going to save them if we can,” said Pat Miller, volunteer firefighter.
    Miller was the driving force behind getting the oxygen masks.  Each mask costs $65, and he raised more than $2,000 from corporate donors to buy one for every station. They were purchased online from a pet rescue group. The small black bags the masks are stored in were also donated.
    “It is a good piece of equipment to have on a truck and it takes up very little space,” said Miller. “They can be used over and over again.”
    The masks come in three different sizes, small, medium and large. Miller also made sure Butler County K-9 units had the equipment for times when their dogs are out on long searches to help them recover quicker.
    Miller has volunteered at Fire District 7, in Benton, since 1986 and has been in situations where a pet oxygen mask was needed.  But, he said since they purchased the masks three years ago, his station hasn’t needed one at a fire scene yet, but Augusta used theirs just a week after they were handed out.
    “I am hoping we don’t ever need to use them here, but if we do, we’ve got them,” said Miller. “The money they cost is nothing compared to a pet’s life. I believe they paid for themselves with just that first rescue.”

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