Veterinarian trains firefighters to save pets

Dr. Thomas Nick works with fire stations as part of Project Breathe, an initiative designed to keep pets safe in the event of a fire.
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Jul 23, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

A Chicago-area veterinarian is working with area fire stations to teach firefighters how to use veterinary oxygen kits, which have been donated to the fire stations as part of the Project Breathe initiative.

“Oxygen is a mainstay of treatment for smoke inhalation, and the faster oxygen can be administered, the more likely the pet will survive,” says Dr. Thomas Nick, owner of Crystal Lake Veterinary Hospital in Crystal Lake, Ill. “By using a mask specifically designed for pets, it allows first responders to provide life-saving oxygen support until veterinary care can be obtained.”

Along with training firefighters to administer oxygen to pets, Dr. Nick encourages pet owners to develop an emergency evacuation plan that includes the family pet.

Project Breathe is sponsored by the Invisible Fence brand, which plans to equip every fire station in the United States and Canada with the kits.