Charity donates kits to Shire fire stations

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A North-east charity has presented the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service with new equipment that will help to save lives of animals across Aberdeenshire.

Peterhead-based Boxer Welfare Scotland received a legacy donation recently and decided to use the money to purchase 12 Smokey Paws kits.

A partnership between SFRS and the not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws aims to make oxygen masks designed especially for animals available for use at incidents.

The kits include three oxygen masks of different sizes to enable firefighters to provide assistance to pets or farm animals that have suffered smoke inhalation.

Thanks to the donation, fire stations across the region will now be able to provide care to animals while attending an incident.

The stations that received kits were Inverurie, Ellon, Oldmeldrum Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banchory, Braemar, Stonehaven, Buckie, Dyce, Huntly and Turriff.

Presentations were recently made at Inverurie Fire Station.

Charity trustee Lorraine Cumming explained: “We received the legacy donation from a Mr Gordon and we thought this would be a nice way to use the money in memory of him.

“I had heard about a dog being rescued by one of the Smokey Paws kits in Edinburgh and after looking into it I found that there wasn’t any available in Aberdeenshire.”

“Since then I have made it our aim to cover all of Aberdeenshire’s fire stations and provide them with their own Smokey Paws kit.

“We will hold lots of fundraising events soon to raise money to buy more of the kits.”

Commenting on the donations, SFRS local service officer Ian Findlay said: “These Smokey Paws kits will help to make animal welfare more of a priority for our crew.

“While rescuing humans will still be our first priority, we will now have the opportunity to deal with pets and give them respiratory protection using the new masks.

“Being in a rural location, the masks will also help at farm fires so after pulling the animals out we will now have something to treat them with.”

Mr Findlay added: “I’d like to thank the partnership that the SFRS has with Smokey Paws and Boxer Welfare Scotland for the kind donations.

“We look forward to getting a kit for all of our stations across Aberdeenshire.”

Smokey Paws was founded in April, 2015, by Brian Lockyer and Lynn Carberry, who is originally from the US.