Tomball, Spring area first responders receive oxygen masks to assist pets found in house fires

Tomball and Spring area first-responder groups received donations of pet oxygen mask kits from Invisible Fence's Project Breathe Program on July 17.

Tomball and Spring area first-responder groups received donations of pet oxygen mask kits from Invisible Fence's Project Breathe Program on July 17.

Four first responder groups in the Tomball and Spring areas received 49 pet oxygen mask kits from Invisible Fence's Project Breathe Program during a presentation July 17, according to a July 17 news release. The masks are intended to reduce the number of pets killed or injured in house fires each year, as the masks will help resuscitate a dog or cat when an animal is found in a burning home.

The Tomball Fire Department, Northwest Community Health—which contracts with Emergency Services District No. 8 to provide emergency medical services in Tomball—Cypress Creek EMS and the Spring Fire Department received the pet oxygen masks. The agencies applied separately for the grant program through Invisible Fence but were all awarded masks to meet the communities' needs, said Joe Sykora, the Tomball Fire Department fire marshal.

"It just so happened that all of us [applied for the grant] around the same time," Sykora said. "It just kind of shows the community response model. Rather than just one fire department participat[ing] and getting everything, we're all working together trying to improve our areas."

According to the release, 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in the U.S. in residential fires.

"[Pets] are the ones that are home that aren't able to get out, that aren't able to get low, and [they] don't understand to get away from the fire," Sykora said. "They try [to get out], and smoke fills the room. They have nowhere else to go."

A pet oxygen mask fits over the nose of dogs and cats, whereas a human oxygen mask is not able to seal over the pet's nose and give an adequate oxygen supply, Sykora said.

"These masks, they just help us so much with the animals. They're so much different than a human mask," he said. "This actually forms a seal around their snout so they're able to get the full amount of oxygen that they should be getting in order to recover from smoke inhalation injuries."

The Spring Fire Department received nine mask kits for its nine stations, CCEMS received 30 kits for each of its paramedic vehicles, the Tomball Fire Department received three kits for its three stations, and Northwest Community Health received seven kits for each of its EMS units, according to the release. Sykora said the Tomball Fire Department previously had three pet oxygen mask kits between its fire trucks, but Northwest Community Health did not have the pet-specific masks.

"Any point in time when we have a run-in with an animal, [we can now] provide oxygen to them," he said. "They are our four-legged community members just as much as their human parents are."
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball | Magnolia & Conroe | Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball|Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.



MOST RECENT

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 met Jan. 21 at its new administrative offices. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 lays groundwork for 911 dispatching plans

Cypress Creek EMS currently serves as a dispatch facility for 17 emergency agencies.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Fort Bend County Judge KP George said at a press conference Jan. 4. “The vaccine is here.”
Vaccine distribution starts in Fort Bend County and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Houston area.

As of Jan. 21, Spring ISD has 125 active cases and Klein ISD has 99. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spring, Klein ISDs see COVID-19 active case counts decrease districtwide

Both districts saw their active case counts drop after recording relatively high counts the week prior.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.

During a North Houston Association meeting Jan. 20, Jazz Hamilton—first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services Group for CBRE—discussed how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the conveniences to which consumers have become accustomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pandemic-induced retail conveniences are here to stay, official says

According to Jazz Hamilton, first vice president with the Retail Brokerage Services group for CBRE, between January and November of 2020, consumers spent almost $550 billion online—a 33% increase from 2019.

Spring ISD’s enrollment is 1,630 students less than the previous projection for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Spring ISD)
Pandemic leaves Spring, Klein school districts underenrolled, facing financial challenges

Education leaders are fighting for financial security through the 2020-21 school year.

Spring and Klein health care workers at local hospitals began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-December.
Vaccine distribution continues among Spring, Klein hospitals

Spring and Klein health care workers at local hospitals began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-December.

The estimated number of active COVID-19 cases in Harris County has surpassed 50,000, reaching 51,362 as of the most recent data Jan. 20, according to the Harris County Public Health Department. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Active cases top 50,000

See the latest trends on COVID-19 in Harris County.

The number of homes sold increased in all nine ZIP codes year over year. (Community Impact staff)
See how the Spring, Klein real estate market fared in November 2020

The number of homes sold increased in all nine ZIP codes year over year.

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about where, when and how they can get inoculated.

The barbecue eatery is the second Killen's Restaurant Group venture to launch in The Woodlands area. (Courtesy Killen's Barbecue)
Killen's Barbecue opens in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.