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Pets could breathe easier

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Recalling when a dog was revived with oxygen when a house in Park Meadows caught fire last fall, firefighters Saturday demonstrated the newest addition to their safety arsenal.

"They had to use the human (oxygen) masks," said Carol Sletta, a dog owner in Park City, when asked about the fire last fall.

Because fitting an oxygen mask designed for a person onto a pet can be difficult, engines in the Park City Fire District now carry masks for animals.

"They are used if an animal needs to be resuscitated," Summit County Friends of Animals spokeswoman Charlene Brewster said. "They’ll go from a parakeet to a Saint Bernard."

Carrying different sized masks better equips firefighters to treat pets that suffer smoke inhalation when homes catch on fire, said Bob Evans, a Fire District captain.

The fire on Oct. 12, 2006, damaged the Venus Court home almost killing the dog before the pet was administered oxygen.

"It’s a dog town," Evans said.

Meanwhile, several cats died last winter after a condominium near The Canyons caught on fire, Park City Fire District spokeswoman Tricia Hurd said.

The new masks will also help pets injured in traffic crashes, Evans said.

"It’s great," said Sletta who added that, "Park City has an exceptional supply of dogs."

To equip one truck at each of the Park City Fire District’s eight stations Summit County Friends of Animals donated masks purchased in cooperation with the HELP Animals, Inc., group.

"We have a community assistance fund," Brewster said.

In the past 12 months the masks have become popular with emergency responders, she added.


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