Firefighters with the Amarillo Fire Department work every day to protect us and the things we love. That includes helping out our pets in times of need. That’s exactly what AFD Firefighter John Griego and AFD Firefighter Marke Shook did on the morning of December 30.
AFD got a call to a structure fire on Shield Ct., Firefighter Griego and Firefighter Shook were assigned RIT, the Rapid Intervention Team. “That’s to help down firefighters or trapped firefighters. We staged on the yard and got ready to do our 360,” Shook said, “And were immediately met on the lawn with the dogs.”
Two dogs had been inside the structure fire. It was now Firefighter Griego and Firefighter Shook’s job to help the dogs who were struggling to breathe.
“We started with a human mask which is just an ordinary breathing mask, it pushes air and then we were made aware that there was one of the dog masks on scene, so I ran and got that came back and by that point they had brought out the second dog and we hooked up the oxygen bottles and got these masks on the dogs and started flowing air to them,” Shook explained.
The pet oxygen masks come in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. The oxygen tubing connects to the oxygen bottle and oxygen is given the same way it is to humans.
AFD wants to remind citizens that if you get out of a fire, stay out. “In a fire, situations can change really quick and what we want to do and what we want to teach the public is anytime you can get out, you want to stay out. Don’t re-enter the building to retrieve any items or pets or anything, that is our job,” Griego said.
If you do get out of a structure fire and you realize someone or something is inside, share that information. AFD Community Liaison Jeff Justus said, “Tell the dispatcher on the phone when you call 911 and when the firefighters arrive on scene, if you can, communicate that with them as well. As much information as we can get as possible, we appreciate that when we get on scene.”
Along with remembering to get out and stay out, AFD says to always have a working smoke detector, have a meeting plan and a meeting place.