CAMDEN — Camden-Somers Township Fire and EMS partnered with Invisible Fence and MedVet Dayton to bring pet first aid training to the department. The agency also received a donation of pet oxygen masks as part of Invisible Fence’s Project Breathe program.
This donation will allow Camden-Somers Township Fire and EMS Department to treat pets more appropriately in an emergency situation.
According to paramedic Tiffany Lay, there have been situations where EMTs and firefighters have had to use a human oxygen mask on an animal. These pet oxygen masks will come in handy if such a situation is to arise again.
Not only will the oxygen masks help to improve how the department responds to pet emergencies, but MedVet Dayton taught those at the training pet first aid. There they applied tips on how to handle animals to the procedures paramedics already know. They also discussed the differences between treating a human and treating both cats and dogs.
Lay added, they reached out to Invisible Fence after hearing about Project Breathe from a neighboring department.
“They said it was a good training and we should do it, so I contacted them to set it up,” Lay said. “There have been different times we’ve went to houses and the pets [have needed treatment]. We do have a K-9 officer that we are allowed to transport to veterinarian centers and emergency rooms if need to be. Pets in general, pulling them out, it makes the homeowner feel more secure to know we can treat their animals.”
Invisible Fence partners with MedVet to provide this training with the equipment at the same time. Amber Hart, MedVet Trained Education Coordinator, has trained to provide emergency care to animals. She was able to talk those present through different procedures they would be able to do to stabilize an animal before the owner could transport them to a veterinary center.
This included: use of the oxygen mask, chest compressions, mouth to snout, and other life saving acts. She also taught the paramedics, firefighters, and EMTs how to make a muzzle out of various items available to them to increase human safety when treating animals.
“I think it is important because, anymore, pets are children to owners. If there is an emergency at my house, to have them be able to treat [my dog] is going to make me feel better. I am going to be a better patient knowing they are taking care of my child as well,” Hart said.
For Lay, the knowledge her peers learned during the training is valuable and will help them better serve the area.
“Just a couple weeks ago we had a dog come to our fire house who had smoke inhalation. We sent them with a human mask and an oxygen tank and the owner took them to the vet. We wish we would have had the training before that happened and the proper tools, but we did the best we could,” she said.
Nationwide, Invisible Fence has donated over 27,000 masks. Regionally, the company has donated to 15 different departments in the past year and a half.