PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. — On Friday, September 24, 2021, the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department hosted the Invisible Fence team members for pet oxygen mask distribution.

“Project Breathe” is a pet donation program designed to help local first responders save animals’ lives. Every kit donated includes a small, medium and large mask in a pull string red bag. Invisible Fence of the Bay Area said this in a press release, “Each year, it’s estimated more than 40,000 pets die in fires, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. The reality in most cases is that first responders lack the equipment to resuscitate and save these animals. Programs like Project Breathe are addressing this issue.”

Tom Maloney, General Manager for Invisible Fence was on site at the event and said, “We are in the pet life saving industry, even though we like to save pets by keeping them home safe this is another outlet to keep pets safe inside their homes too. Our hope is to make sure no matter where they are, they have the oxygen masks available to them so when danger comes… our goal is to make sure we are there to save these pets in any way we can.”

Grace the dog was brought down with the Invisible Fence team to demonstrate how the mask would be put on. Through his decades of rescuing people and animals, PFVFD Deputy Fire Chief Mike Sharpe added, “When a dog has been exposed to smoke inhalation like that they tend to be much more compliant.” Maloney said, the masks can also be used during resuscitation efforts.

“This is an opportunity to partner with a professional service that cares for animals as much as our business does. As we know, animals are an extension of the family… and it’s an opportunity for us to provide another level of care given any nature of call that we may come across,” Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department President Patrick Hassler said.

Sharpe concludes, “Every member of this organization… and the other fire departments and EMS companies of Calvert County are honored this community allows us to serve them. We take life and property very seriously.”

The Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department acquired all of the masks on behalf of all stations and will be distributing them to every department in Calvert County, Md.