Audubon FD Receives Pet Respirator Donation


The life-saving apparatus is designed with animal muzzles in mind. Audubon Fire Chief Art Johansen said it can save people by keeping them from re-entering burning buildings in search of pets.

By Matt Skoufalos | January 17, 2018

Pet rescue mask kit. Credit: Canine Company.

Thanks to a donation of specialized oxygen masks, the Audubon Fire Department will be able to revive animals overwhelmed by smoke inhalation in house fires and similar emergencies.

Invisible Fence makers Canine Company donated a set of three masks to the fire company, the fourth in Camden County (including Berlin, Lindenwold, and Winslow Township) to receive them.

Designed after veterinary respirators, the masks are cone-shaped to fit animals from rabbits to large-breed dogs.

Their hoses connect with firefighter-EMT oxygen tanks and bag valve masks.

Audubon Fire Chief Art Johansen said the animal masks may help save people, too. Allowing firefighters to rescue pets from a house fire keeps family members from going back into a burning building to save them.

“We lose more people in the fire service who get out [of a burning house]  and then go back in,” Johansen said.

Last week, Johansen said he’d been explaining that principle to a cub scout troop when the masks arrived.

“We tell them that if there’s a fire, don’t worry about your pets or toys,” the chief said. “Get out, and we’ll take care of the rest.”

Audubon Fire Station. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

One of the scouts asked Johansen who would save their pets, and he was able to show them the respirators.

“We hope to never have to use them, but they are there,” Johansen said.

“It’s a great resource.”

Last month, the Oaklyn Fire Department drew national attention for its rescue of a dog on a frozen lake just minutes after extinguishing a chicken coop fire.

Johansen said his department doesn’t get many animal-related calls for service, “but it does happen.”

Fire departments and first-aid companies in New Jersey can request similar donations through the company website or by emailing

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