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Fire engines to trial carrying life-saving equipment for pets

Five fire engines in Cambridgeshire are to carry life-saving oxygen masks for small animals as part of a trial. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Five fire engines in Cambridgeshire are to carry life-saving oxygen masks for small animals as part of a trial with charity Smokey Paws.

Lexi the husky was modelling one of the new animal oxygen masks at the appropriately named Dogsthorpe Fire Station in Peterborough.

It's actually the smoke that kills in many fires. Quick access to oxygen can be vital and campaigners say these masks will save lives.

"We use the same oxygen that we deliver to humans and instead of having a human face mask at the end we've got a dedicated conical mask and instead of having a lot of wasted oxygen that's being dissipated in the wrong place it goes straight to where it needs to go so they're getting about 90 percent oxygen rather than about ten or twenty."

– Reporter: Matthew Hudson Location: Peterborough Supers: Neil Hoskin, Animal Rescue Instructor
Lexi the husky modelling one of the new animal oxygen masks. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's hoped as many rescue vehicles as possible will ultimately have the kit to help save small animals.

Cambridgeshire Fire Service says human lives come first but it knows how important pets can be.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia Matthew Hudson

Nearly half of us own pets and last year fire services nationally attended around 40,000 house fires. So it is not hard to see what a lifesaver these masks could be.

The five fire engines in Cambridgeshire with the pet oxygen masks are based at Dogsthorpe, Cambridge, Huntingdon, St Neots and Ely.

Nearly half of households in the UK have pets. Credit: ITV News Anglia