LRTC Emergency Response Team
RESOURCE GUIDE AIR FOR PAWS
ANIMAL RESUSCITATION KITS
July 30, 2015
Pets and livestock that are kept as pets are considered by many as not only valuable property but as companion animals that are extended "members of the family." Historically fire and animal services personnel have been challenged to care for animals that have been overcome by heat, smoke, carbon monoxide, or have simply been found in weakened conditions for various reasons. Responders have tried various approaches in order to revive such animals, occasionally with success, however the Morgan Hill (CA) based nonprofit, Air for Paws, has taken on the challenge and has developed animal-specific resuscitation and supplemental oxygen equipment.
Various state and local emergency responders have equipped themselves with Air for Paws resuscitation gear. The Air Force has kits as part of the veterinary medical gear for their K9 units. In July, 2015, Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) was the first Nevada organization to receive kits along with Lyon County Animal Services, the North Lyon County Fire Protection District and City of Fernley Animal Control. The objective for providing kits to LRTC was to see if the kits were useful in providing emergency care to downed foals as well as at a couple of canine calls, and we found them to be quite suitable.
The LRTC volunteers worked closely with Lyon County Animal Services and have also trained in technical large animal rescue, with training initially provided by the Nevada Division of Emergency Management. Thus providing assistance with both small and large animal emergencies falls within the overall mission of the organization.
The kits come with two Ambu bags, one small and one large, the same as are used for human resuscitation efforts. The face masks are designed to be compatible for use on most dogs and small animals.
The bag can hold an M6 (also known as a Size B) oxygen cylinder and regulator that is provided by the user.
The small bag and mask is suitable for use on smaller dogs.
The larger mask is suitable for medium to large dogs, some small farm animals, and can be easily modified to use on foals and small horses.
A prototype mask is presently under design for standard size horses. For now, per veterinarian recommendations, inserting silicone tubing up one nostril of a large animal while pinching off the other nostril will provide some ventilation assistance.
The kit also includes a two-sided instruction card that describes recommended CPR and breathing support procedures.
Also included in the kits are leashes and other supplies.
Kits are presently in service on Rescue 1 (Douglas County,) Rescue 3 (Stagecoach,) Rescue-Transport 11 (Douglas County,) Special Operations Support 1 (Stagecoach) and are being assigned to strategic first responders. Kits are also carried by Lyon County Animal Services, Fernley Animal Control, the North Lyon County Fire Protection District and the Mason Valley Fire Protection District.
The kits are provided free of charge to qualifying agencies and organizations, although the recipients are responsible for providing their own oxygen cylinders and regulators. Air for Paws is an all-volunteer donor supported 501(c)(3) non-profit that has provided over 600 kits nationwide and to our military overseas using funds received from donors.