Acting upon the belief that every life is important, Roselle Park first responders (police/fire/first aid) have purchased five (5) pet oxygen masks to address life-saving issues that household pets might experience in an emergency. One kit will go to the Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD), another to the Roselle Park First Aid Squad (RPFAS), and the remaining three to each of the Roselle Park Fire Department (RPFD) houses. RPPD will be the first police department in the county to carry such pet oxygen masks.
In 2012, RPPD – along with the Roselle Park Fire Department and First Aid – responded to an active house fire on Westfield Avenue. A cat was rescued from the fire suffering from smoke inhalation. At that time, RPPD used a regular oxygen mask on the cat which was not effective as the new kits that have now been acquired.
After reading a related article in 1st Responder Newspaper (link), RPPD Detective Richard Cocca contacted The Canine Company (link), which provides pet oxygen masks to first responders through a donation program called ‘Project Breathe’. Company Representative Debra Bennetts provided Roselle Park with five pet oxygen mask kits. The costs of the kits are approximately $100 each but these masks were donated to the municipality. To date the company has donated over 11,500 masks to first responders.
“With the new kits, we will now have the ability to effectively treat cats and dogs on scene, so they have a better chance of surviving smoke inhalation,” stated Detective Cocca. He added, “We would like to thank The Canine Company for the generous donation.”
It is estimated that as many as 150,000 pets are killed each year in house fires – many as a result of smoke inhalation.