From Rover to Polly

Pet Rescue kits handed out to East Kootenay fire trucks

  • Dec. 19, 2012 5:00 a.m.
Jaffray/Baynes Lake Fire Chief Dave Boreen accepts a rescue kit from the Marasco Family

Jaffray/Baynes Lake Fire Chief Dave Boreen accepts a rescue kit from the Marasco Family

When a fire breaks out in a family’s home, often the first thought is to get all the humans out safely. Once safe outside, thought often turns to the family pets, and now two and four legged creatures of all kinds will be just a little safer.

One of the Family Pet Care donated 18 Pet Rescue Kits to East Kootenay First Responders last week, which will ensure that pets of all kinds rescued from a burning home will have access to medical care right away.

The tiny backpacks come complete with an oxygen mask that can be fit to different types of pets, from guinea pigs to a St. Bernard.

Sharon and Gary Marasco, owners of One of the Family Pet Care, said it was a natural fit for their business.

“Everything that we’ve done in our lives has been animal related, whether is be dog, cat or horse,” Gary said.

The family business, which also includes daughter Sophia, brought the idea to Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services, who quickly jumped on board. Sharon said Fire Fighter Fergus Spowart and Captain Jack Magro of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services were instrumental in getting the kits all over the region. She said the pair helped get the kits on the bus to send them to every community, and were happy to bring the tiny bag on board the Cranbrook fire engines.

“They were on it, it was great,” she said.

The kit is contained in an orange drawstring backpack, which can be used to contain a frantic cat during a rescue. Sharon said the cat can be gently tucked in and using the drawstring, their paws and nails can be kept safely inside while the oxygen mask is applied.

The bag contains an oxygen mask in several different sizes that are perfectly fitted to a variety of different animal snouts. The masks can even be applied to birds or small rodents.

“A lot of people didn’t even understand that there was such a thing out there,” Gary said.

The mask easily hooks up to a rescue vehicle’s oxygen system and are designed just like a veterinarian’s system for surgeries and treatments.

“It’s not that much different to the hook up for intubating humans,” Sharon said.

Sharon said they also have forms for the first responders to fill out after a rescue.

“It’s quite official,” she said. “It’s really the neatest concept.”

The idea to donate the kits came from the Marasco family’s own pets.

“We have our own guinea pigs, cockatiels – so we were thinking of our own,” she said. “It’s a really neat kit. This is huge for us.”

Sharon hopes that pet owners will have one less worry if they every experience the trauma of losing their home to a fire or other disaster.

“It will definitely give them peace of mind,” she said.

“Now pets can be quickly administered for smoke inhalation,” Sharon said, instead of trying to fit human-sized masks onto “wiggly little faces.”

Sharon added that while rescuing a pet may not seem important in the grand scheme of things, children already dealing with a traumatic situation will see the service as an important connection to home.

“If you can fit a little O2 mask on that little animal’s face, then that’s one less worry for them,” she said.

The 18 kits went all over the East Kootenay. They are now ready for service with two each in Kimberley and Cranbrook, and one in Panorama, Castlegar, Edgewater, Canal Flats, Fairmont, Radium, Windermere, Invermere, Fernie, Elkford, Sparwood, Baynes Lake, Jaffray and Hosmer.

“They’re already on the units, ready to roll,” Sharon said.

There is of course, one other reason Sharon and the Marasco family wanted to donate the kits. She said it’s all about recognizing first responders for the important work they do in East Kootenay communities.

“That’s basically what One in the Family wanted to do – was thank our fire fighters for risking their lives and going back in,” she said.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read