Fire stations receive pet lifesaving devices


King County Fire District No. 50 in Skykomish received a donation of 12 pet oxygen mask kits from Invisible Fence Brand on Tuesday, April 12, as part of the company's Project Breathe endeavor.

This large donation was shared with Sultan Fire District 5, Gold Bar Fire District26 No. 54, Index Fire District 28, Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue and the Steven's Pass avalanche dogs.

Project Breathe seeks to prepare and supply as many fire stations as possible across the U.S. and Canada with pet oxygen mask kits.

Skykomish Fire Lt. Patty Binion came across a fire department that had been supplied with pet oxygen mask kits from Project Breathe while online and decided to pursue the kits for her own department.

Because the department is so small, she reached out to four surrounding fire departments before approaching Invisible Fence Brand in the hope of receiving these kits.

Each kit comes with three non-rebreather oxygen masks for different sizes of animals. While they are generally only used on cats and dogs, the largest mask in the kit could be used on a grizzly bear.

The Steven's Pass avalanche dogs received two of the kits, so they can carry one set while they are out and leave the other on the mountain. This way they are always available if one of the dogs ends up in a situation where an oxygen mask would be needed.

"We are more than happy to have these masks,GÇ¥ Binion said. "It's better to be safe than sorry. These animals are a part of our families.GÇ¥

Owned by the Radio Systems Corporation in Knoxville, Tennessee, Invisible Fence Brand is most well known for its electronic pet containment systems. The mask kits are giving firefighters and EMS staff members the tools to administer oxygen to pets that are suffering from smoke inhalation after being rescued from fires.


"Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry websites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets each year that die in fires; most succumbing to smoke inhalation,GÇ¥ said Christina Landwehr, national coordinator for Invisible Fence Brand.

Invisible Fence has donated more than 12,400 pet oxygen masks to fire stations in the U.S. and Canada, with more to come. The company reports more than 150 pets have been saved using the devices.

"In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis. The loss is terrible for the family and heart wrenching for firefighters,GÇ¥ Landwehr said."The donation of these specially designed and potentially lifesaving animal oxygen mask sets enable rescue squads to efficiently administer oxygen to a stricken animal.GÇ¥

In addition to Project Breathe donations, Binion has acquired several other safety devices for her community. With a deep passion for philanthropy, she has been instrumental in procuring donor life jackets, bicycle and ski helmets, breast cancer awareness T-shirts and holding dessert and spaghetti auctions. Binion prides herself on doing what she can to bring as much safety and awareness to Skykomish, she said.

To learn more about Invisible Fence and Project Breathe, go to

Photos by Savannah Slone Skykomish Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Janasz and Lake Wenatchee Firefighter Moffitt watch Debbie Burke from Invisible Fence test out one of the pet oxygen masks. Skykomish Fire Department, Index Fire Department, Gold Bar Fire Department and Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue.


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