Pets News

Better animal rescue equipment coming to CSFD in honor of retiring Dep. Chief

COLORADO SPRINGS — “We’re in there initially for the human life,” said Colorado Springs Fire Department Deputy Chief Steve Wilch.

Saving people is first priority for firefighters.

When everyone is out the fire often witness panic about pets

“Firefighters, we are trained in our emergency medical skills, EMTs. But we also know we can deliver some of those lifesaving skills to a pet through the oxygen delivery and just through stimulation,” said Wilch.

Pets are often unable to escape a burning structure.

Even calm, well trained dogs get confused and can react unpredictably when there’s a fire.

“They know that something’s wrong, but they don’t quite have the capacity to be able to remove themselves from that danger,” said El Paso County Animal Law Enforcement Sergeant, Nicole Michon.

“We go in there to rescue pets and if they have suffered smoke inhalation, often times, they need a little help they need oxygen,” said Wilch.

Giving oxygen to a pet requires specialized equipment.

The Colorado Springs Fire department has positioned a limited number of animal emergency oxygen kits with designated crews.

Now, honors for a retiring Deputy Chief is an opportunity to add kits to all firehouses across the department.

“Steve Dubay retired after 36 years and had a love for animals,” said Wilch.

There was $4,500 raised by the Fire Foundation of Colorado Springs and the Westside Animal Hospital to purchase the kits.

The rescue kit will have Dubay’s initials, SED, printed on the pack.

His legacy will help save the lives of animals, and offer some reassurance to their owners.

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