Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department recently received a donation from Retired Murfreesboro Police Officer Joanna Medlen that will assist Firefighters with the rescue of pets at a house fire or on other emergency incidents.
Medlen donated a total of four “Wag’n O2 Fur Life” pet mask oxygen kits, which will be placed on each of MFRD’s rescue trucks.
Medlen, a self-proclaimed pet lover, said that she got the idea when her own dog, Sophie, passed away after a battle with cancer. The loss of her beloved Sophie was so devastating, she began wondering what she could do to keep others from knowing what it felt like to lose a pet. “I thought of people that lose their homes to fires, and just could not imagine losing a pet in a house fire,” said Medlen. “This got me thinking about the rescue kits. You can replace a home, but not a pet.”
The pet rescue kits each contain three oxygen masks in various sizes, three oxygen air tubes, a carry bag, instruction sheet, kennel lead, and an instructional DVD. The various sizes will allow Firefighters to assist a wide range of animals from a very small animal to a very large one.
“We are very appreciate of Ms. Medlen’s donation to the department,” said Deputy Chief Roger Toombs. “It’s nice to know that there are people out there willing to provide local fire departments with life-saving equipment for pets, as many people view them as members of the family.”
Wag’n O2 Fur Life Program is a nationwide campaign to help first responders acquire the necessary equipment to effectively mitigate emergencies and save pet lives. Since its inception in 2008, the program has provided pet oxygen masks kits to more than 1,730 fire and emergency medical services departments in the United States. With the help of generous individuals and corporate partners, it is estimated that up to 3,400 fire departments and 600 emergency medical services departments have now obtained at least one kit. To learn more about the kits, visit www.petoxygenmasks.org.
As for Medlen, she’s not stopping with the pet rescue kits. “I’m currently researching other ways to help our local first responders,” she said. “They do a lot for this community. I want to give back to them.”
Ashley McDonald, Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue