Category: Publicity

The Virginian Pilot- Pet oxygen masks donated to Beach rescue squad

When a neighbor’s house caught fire near Town Center on July 13, Shirley Begay knew no one was home, but she worried about a pet in an upstairs bedroom.

“My first thought was the dog,” she said. “It was too smoky for us to go in, so we had to tell the firefighters where to find him.”

Crews from the city’s fire department retrieved the dog and used an oxygen mask designed to fit an animal’s muzzle. He received treatment for 30 minutes on the scene and spent the night recovering in an animal hospital, Begay said.

On Saturday, the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad became fully equipped with pet oxygen masks through Invisible Fence Brand’s Project Breathe initiative. The rescue squad received enough small, medium and large masks to supply each of its 10 emergency vehicles.

Invisible Fence – a company that specializes in collars warning animals to stay close to home – has donated more than 10,000 pet oxygen masks to fire departments throughout the United States and Canada, according to the company’s website. The masks cost about $60 each but are free for rescue squads.

“We’re not in the business of rescuing animals, but when there is an emergency that affects the family, we want to do something after we’ve addressed all the people,” said Ellen McBride, a rescue squad emergency medical technician. “That way, we’re helping every family member.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, between 40,000 and 150,000 pets die in fires each year.

Having oxygen masks within reach for pets during fires and carbon monoxide poisonings can save lives, said Dr. Wayne Johnson, a veterinarian at Birdneck Animal Hospital.

“Just like with people, the sooner you can get more oxygen in the animal, the better,” he said.

Fire departments in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake have also received pet oxygen masks through donations: In 2007, the Chesapeake Humane Society donated oxygen masks to the Chesapeake Fire Department, and in 2008 and 2009, Animal Rescue of Tidewater donated masks to the Virginia Beach Fire Department and Norfolk Fire-Rescue.

“In the past, you’d pull an animal out and maybe try to fashion a mask out of a human oxygen mask, which doesn’t provide the proper flow of oxygen,” said Capt. Scott Saunders, a Chesapeake Fire Department spokesman. “These have been a huge benefit.”

McBride, who owns two cats, said the squad’s new ability puts her at ease.

“It makes me feel better knowing that if something were to happen to my family, including my pets, the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad has what is needed to save their lives,” she said.

WTKR- Pet oxygen masks donated to Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad

The Virginia Beach Rescue Squad is now equipped to respond to pets in emergency situations.

“While people will always come first, we recognize our pets are very dear to us,” says Ellen McBride, proud member of the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad at Station 14.

On Saturday, August 3, The Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, Station 14 held a ceremony to announce that all of its emergency vehicles will now feature pet oxygen masks – thanks to a donation from the Invisible Fence Brand of Hampton Roads.

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Schaum Named 2013 Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year

The Association of Fundraising Professionals – Hampton Roads Chapter (AFP-HR) has named Executive Director of the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation Kitty Schaum its 2013 Outstanding Fundraising Professional. Schaum will be presented with the award at an event on National Philanthropy Day (Nov. 13), which is the AFP-HR’s annual recognition of philanthropic leaders in our community.

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Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squads Celebrate EMS Week, May 19-25

Virginia Beach, Va. – Each May, National EMS Week recognizes the work of emergency medical personnel throughout the country. In Virginia Beach, it is an opportunity to honor the dedication of the 1,000+ volunteers that make up the largest volunteer-based EMS system in the country.

For the first time, four Virginia Beach squads will be partnering on a fundraising effort during EMS Week, which takes place May 19 – 25. The four squads include Chesapeake Beach, Kempsville, Princess Anne Courthouse and Virginia Beach.

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Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation Announces New Board Members

Virginia Beach, Va. – The Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation as added the following individuals to the 2013 Board of Directors:

  • Morris H. Fine – founding partner at Fine, Fine, Legum and McCracken LLP
  • John A. Gill – senior managing director at BB&T Scott & Stringfellow
  • Alfred “Ran” M. Randolph, Jr. – vice president for associate recruitment and retention at Kaufman & Canoles
  • Bradford “Brad” F. Sauer – retired past president, Maersk Line, Limited

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