PIKEVILLE, TENN. - Furry friends will be a little safer in the city of Pikeville since the Pikeville Fire Department - TN was donated a set of pet oxygen mask on Tuesday.
Each year, about 40,000 pets die in fires each year in the United States, mostly due to smoke inhalation. The masks were donated by KC Candle Company through its “Candles for K9 Program” which aims to equip fire departments with these type resuscitation mask for pets as well as equip law enforcement agencies with ballistic vest for K9 officers. The fire department received three different masks ranging in size, fitting everything from large dogs to small cats. This will help emergency crews care for pets who may have suffered from smoke inhalation in a fire. These cone-shaped masks are specifically designed to fit the muzzles and snouts of dogs, cats and other household pets.
The "Candles for K9 Program" was started by KC Candle Company in March of 2021. This program allows customers that are making purchases from the candle company’s e-commerce store to make donations to this cause. The business also contributes a portion of sales to this program as well. Since March, the program has been able to purchase masks for 2 fire departments and 2 ballistic vest for K9 officers. As more funds become available, more life-saving and protective equipment will be donated.
“We realize that humans are the first priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the proper equipment,’ said KC Candle Company owner, Stacy Prater. “‘Candles for K9 Program’ is a simple way of giving firefighters and law enforcement agencies the tools necessary to allow emergency responders to resuscitate and help save and protect people’s fur babies.
“The benefit of having these masks on the fire truck will provide a better seal around the animal’s face which will allow for better oxygen delivery,” says Pikeville Fire Chief Paul Swafford. “It’s easy for us to stand here and say, ‘Don’t go in to a fire and get your pets,’” Swafford said. “It’s very difficult for us to impress upon them how dangerous that is. We have the tools and equipment to go in safely and rescue pets and bring them back out, and now with the donation of these masks, that’s going to bring the outcome, hopefully, to a more positive level.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit KcCandleCompany.com
Group Photo: L to R: Cody Howard, Jeff Turner, Assistant Chief Dylan Hankins, Chief Paul Swafford, Stacy Prater, KC Candle Company Owner, Lt. Creed Newby, Lt. Cory Prater and Captain Garret Angel.
Pikeville Fire Chief holding one of the pet oxygen mask that were donated to the department.