Copperas Cove firefighters receive 'pet oxygen masks' donation

Posted at 12:39 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 18:32:52-04

Thanks to a viral video, one Central Texas fire department now has the tools to save pets after fires.

In Feb., KXXV's Brooke Bednarz rode along with the Copperas Cove Fire Department to a house fire where she got exclusive video of firefighters saving a dog with their own oxygen mask.

It was a moment caught on camera that went viral.

Firefighters in Copperas Cove responded to a house fire where two dogs were trapped inside.

"The firefighters brought them out. One of the dogs, unfortunately, didn't make it, but the other dog did," Gary Young, Copperas Cove Deputy Fire Chief, said. 

The firefighters worked on the dog for about 30 minutes, and Central Texas News Now was there for it all.

"We used the best thing that we had which was a human oxygen mask and a firefighter's mask to provide oxygen to this dog," Young added. 

It was a bittersweet moment.

"We saw it on TV," Cathy Stockman, a member of the Citizens Fire and Public Safety Volunteer Association, said. 

"The video did go viral. It had a lot of views," Young said. 

But one that became a learning experience for the department and a catalyst for change within the community.

"I'm sure the owners really appreciated it because they're like children to a lot of people," Stockman added. 

That's why Stockman and the rest of the Citizens Fire and Public Safety Volunteer Association got to thinking.

"How many lives could they save, you know pets, having them versus not having them?" Stockman said. 

 "Sometimes there's things we didn't know we needed until we needed them... and they've tried to come in and help out where our normal fire department budget wouldn't," Young added. 

So, the Citizens Fire and Public Safety Volunteer Association decided to buy the Copperas Cove Fire Department five full sets of pet oxygen masks.

"It's their gracious donation that's helping us provide the additional benefit to our citizens," Young said. 

The CFPSVA donated enough masks so every fire engine and ambulance in the department would have a set. 

"The generous donation from the members of the CFPSVA will provide the fire department a means to assist animals that experience a fire in their home," Copperas Cove Fire Chief Michael Neujahr said.  

In February, a family of four lost one of their pet dogs after a fire caused by a space heater broke out. Fortunately, another dog was saved by firefighters who used oxygen mask that is made for humans.

Central Texas News Now was on the scene of the revival and captured it in a video.


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