Forget the people. Save the pets.
Pets involved in house fires, gas leaks, or other situations requiring additional oxygen are safe in Marinwood, where the fire department's engine is now equipped with pet-sized oxygen masks, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
The cute-sized masks were paid for by a private resident, and are a welcome addition to the fire department's arsenal of life-saving gadgets, according to Marinwood fire Capt. John Bagala. "At this point animals are a huge part of everybody's family," he told the newspaper.
The two pet oxygen kits cost $70 each and are made by Virginia-based Wag'N Enterprises. They consist of three oxygen masks of various sizes, meant to fit any creature from a pig to a bird to a dog. Good luck getting a cat in one of those things, but they're meant for felines, too.
"Tens of thousands" of pets likely die in fires every eyar, according to Ines de Pablo, who runs the Wag'N company. True figures are not known.
Firefighters appreciate the masks. Beforehand, firefighters needed to perform "mouth to snout" resuscitation on pets, or try to fit a person-sized mask to a bird.
Linda Barnello, the resident who paid for the masks, says it's all well worth it.
"When they try to save a dog or a cat or a bird using a people mask, they're not always successful," she observed.