Jacksonville fire stations now have new tools to help pets when they need to be saved from a heated situation.
The new tools are pet oxygen masks.
"The (citizens) of Jacksonville is donating these oxygen masks for pets to be on each fire truck and ambulance throughout all of Duval County," said Lesley Wolfson of Volunteer Jacksonville.
Volunteer Jacksonvilles VJ-PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) programs purpose is to provide canine and feline oxygen masks to each fire department and rescue vehicle in Duval, Clay, Baker, St. Johns, and Nassau counties.
The specially manufactured masks enable rescue personnel to provide oxygen treatment to an animal suffering from smoke inhalation as the result of a fire, and come in three different sizes: short snout, long snout, and one for a small animal.
Firefighters can hook up the pet oxygen mask to accompanying oxygen tank.
VJ- PAWS is spearheading the pet mask donation project, and the organization is looking for everyday people who are willing to donate money to help cover the costs.
Making a contribution can get the donator's name on a plaque inside the fire station where the donation is made.
"Pets represent, for most people, extended family and if the mission at fire rescue is to protect lives and property then those lives should obviously include that extended family," said Tom Francis of Jacksonville Fire Rescue.
Fifty of the masks were donated on Tuesday to the Duval Fire Station No. 1, but the goal is to do the same in other counties to save more lives.
To become a contributor, contact the VJ-PAWS hotline at 904-332-6767 ext. 110 or e-mail Volunteer Project Chair Jacqui Scuncio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donate can be made in honor of, or in memory of, a favorite pet. Any donation amount will be welcome, but each $100 donor will have their name put on a plaque placed in a fire station.