Local People Help to Purchase Pet Masks
Local fire engines in Wheathampstead now carry specialist oxygen masks for pets, thanks to generous donations from the great people of Wheathampstead.
The masks, provided to Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue service by a charity called Smokey Paws and paid for by donations, are part of a kit specially tailored for cats, dogs and other small household pets.
Around 46% of UK households have a pet and, understandably, they are viewed as part of the family, so kits will make a significant difference to a fire crews’ ability to save animals caught up in fires.
LocalLife spoke to local firefighter, Adrian Biddulph, who explained that the Wheathampstead fire crew got together to help raise funds for the special pet masks by displaying their fire engine and setting up a stall at the fair at St Helens School in the summer. The fire engine was parked up by the school gates so the children and members of the public in general could look at the impressive machine whilst it was still in good position to rush off if an emergency call came in.
Family man Adrian became a firefighter in early 2017 and, after extensive training and development over in Stevenage, took up his on-call fire fighting duties 5 months later. Trainee firefighters learn about fire craft, health and safety, ladder use, as well as trauma care and first aid. Adrian talks to local people about fire prevention and home safety and will give talks at local schools and clubs.
Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted that we are starting to carry pet oxygen masks on our fire engines."