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AFD equipped to help animals and humans alike during fire responses

By Shannon Riddle 4:12 PM March 18, 2017
ANCHORAGE –

Four pets were treated for smoke inhalation following a residential fire Friday night, according to the Anchorage Fire Department.

AFD dispatch personnel confirmed that the fire was reported at 8:52 p.m. on the 2000 block of East 73rd Avenue. A dozen fire units responded within a few minutes and had the fire under control at 9:10 p.m.

Oxygen masks for pets that are equipped by the Anchorage Fire Department. Courtesy AFD

No humans were hurt, according to dispatchers. However, two dogs and two cats were treated for smoke inhalation and then rushed from the scene with their owner for emergency medical care at a local veterinarian office, according to EMS Battalion Chief Mark Monfore.

He said it’s not a common need for a pet to be transported via ambulance.

“We’re not going to race off the scene with an animal if there’s still a danger to our crews, to the public, to the homeowners. You know, it’s a priority type thing,” he added. “If all that’s under control, we do what we can for the animals.”

AFD crews have equipment to assist not only humans at the scene of a fire, but also their pets. Monfore confirmed each Anchorage fire rig and ambulance is equipped with masks for animals of all sizes, allowing them to receive oxygen when they need it.

He noted that even if a pet is treated at the scene and released back to their owner, a visit to their regular veterinarian is still important following a fire rescue.

The masks have been donated by a number of people since 2005, according to AFD, and are reusable and designed to be decontaminated between uses.

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