Firefighters equipped with oxygen masks for pets - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Firefighters equipped with oxygen masks for pets

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If ever in a house fire, an initial thought for someone is to get everyone to safety.

However, in some cases, pets can be left behind; that's one reason why firefighters in eastern Iowa carry oxygen masks especially for animals.

The Cedar Falls Fire Department is one department in eastern Iowa equipped with the masks.

"The masks came to us a few years ago as part of a project from a local veterinary hospital," John Bostwick said, Interim Fire Chief for Cedar Falls.

Firefighters carry the masks in special bags, on every fire truck and ambulance with the department. The masks work on both dogs and cats, and come in several different sizes.

"We might keep it on for several minutes, to help them stop coughing and being so sick from the smoke," Bostwick said.

The Cedar Falls Fire Department says most people might not realize firefighters have these oxygen masks, made just for pets. Crews have the masks with them every time they respond to a fire.

 "We work very hard to help out those pets because they mean a lot to those families," Bostwick said.

Along with Cedar Falls, fire departments in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Dubuque also have pet oxygen masks.

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