RUSHVILLE – After the tragic loss of a couple of pets in a local fire, members of the Rushville Fire Department began looking to get oxygen masks that could be used on pets. A fire has a huge impact on a family with the loss of belongings, but could mean the loss of family members in the form of pets.

In the most recent example, RFD firefighters tried to give aid to the pets, but they did not have the proper equipment for dealing with animals.

Firefighter and EMT Nic Hatfield found a company that donates these life-saving devices. Deputy Fire Chief Mike Justice contacted Invisible Fence of Central IN and was awarded one set. After talking to the company, Justice was able to get a kit for each fire department in Rush County from the generous company.

“I accepted seven kits on behalf of the seven volunteer services in Rush County. I will personally make contact with the chief of the departments and present them with the kits over the next couple weeks,” Justice said.

Stacey Goins of Invisible Fence of Central IN was in Rushville to present the kits and a demonstration to members of the RFD on Thursday.

First responders with the RFD are now some of the best-equipped in the nation to save a pet’s life.

This donation is just a small part of Invisible Fence® Brand’s Project Breathe™ program, which was established with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks. These masks allow firefighters and EMS staff to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires and often save pets’ lives.

Invisible Fence® Brand has donated more than 18,700 pet oxygen masks to fire stations all over the U.S. and Canada throughout the life of the program. A reported 180 plus pets have been saved by the donated masks so far, one family dog most recently in Baltimore by the Baltimore County Fire Department.

“When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down,” Ed Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence® Brand, said. “Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”

“We realize that humans are the first priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment,” Hoyt said. “Project Breathe™ program is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.”

Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis. The loss is terrible for the family, heart wrenching for firefighters.

The company has set up a website, www.invisiblefence.com/O2, where local fire personnel can make a request for their own departments.

About Invisible Fence® Brand

Invisible Fence® Brand is the original electronic pet containment system and offers a comprehensive family of containment, avoidance, and access products to keep pets out of harm’s way and prevent unwanted behaviors throughout both the home and yard. Owned by Radio Systems Corporation in Knoxville, Tenn., Invisible Fence® Brand solutions are sold nationwide by professional, authorized dealers who provide Perfect Start™ Pet training and custom installation that have safely contained over 2 million pets. Invisible Fence® Brand has taken pet care beyond the home and started the Project Breathe™ program, which has donated more than 12,400 pet oxygen masks to fire departments and first responders. For more information on Invisible Fence® Brand or to find a local dealer, visit www.invisiblefence.com.

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com

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