BURNHAM-ON-SEA fire station is set to benefit from the addition new oxygen masks for animals.

Pets in the area will have a better chance of surviving household fires, thanks to the new specially-designed masks for animals provided by Pets at Home.

Fire stations in the US are provided with this equipment as standard, however in the UK, services are not provided with specific apparatus to resuscitate and treat pets which are unfortunately caught in fires.

Station Manager Dean Hastie, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “I appreciate how important pets can be to some families and individuals and if this goes just that bit further to help improve the chances of survival for a pet, then it’s worth every effort.

“Many pet owners live alone and rely on their company for support, so this is just as important to their welfare as well as the pet in a stressful fire situation.”

Pets at Home donated the money for the sets of masks to Smokey Paws, the not-for-profit organisation aiming to help family pets in the event of a fire, who imported the masks from USA.

Eight fire stations in the Devon and Somerset area are to benefit from the scheme: Barnstaple, Bridgwater, Brixham, Burnham-on-Sea, North Tawton, Ottery St Mary, Topsham and Wellington.

Lynn Carberry from Smokey Paws said: “It is with the support and donations from the public and organisations that allow us to give these life-saving oxygen masks to the fire service.

“Everyday firefighters risk their life to save us and our pets, the least we can do is to give them the right equipment to aid their efforts.

“We urge everyone to help us and donate what they can as the next pet we asked the firefighters to save could be yours.”   

Smokey Paws’ mission is to raise enough money through public donations, to equip every first responder in the UK with these lifesaving masks.

For more information about Smokey Paws go to its website www.smokeypaws.co.uk