RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) – Animals rescued from fires in Rutland have a better chance at being saved thanks to new lifesaving equipment that’s being donated to the city fire department.

Three animal resuscitation masks will be formally presented to firefighters Tuesday at a meeting of the Rutland Region Local Emergency Planning Committee.

The masks will fit over the muzzles of animals ranging from a ferret to a great Dane, according to Dr. Nancee Shaffner. She’s president of the Rutland Area Disaster Animal Response Team, which is donating the equipment.

“We were actually inspired by a picture in the newspaper of a city firefighter trying to resuscitate a cat with his own air mask,” Schaffner said.

“We thought that getting them masks was something that our organization really needed to do.”

RADART, a nonprofit group, helps to shelter and care for animals after they’ve been rescued from fires and other disasters.

Sometimes it’s difficult to save an animal from a burning building because they’ve inhaled just as much smoky air as people. Firefighters for years have had the equipment to help humans but they’ve had to improvise when it comes to animals.

Schaffner said she did not know of any departments in Rutland County that have the equipment, so after the masks are presented to city firefighters, fundraising will begin so other departments in the region can have them, as well.

Each of the masks cost about $60 and the team headed by Shaffner is accepting donations through the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Information from: Rutland Herald,

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