Doña Ana County Fire Marshal Robert Monsivaiz is going to the dogs.
At an 11 a.m. ceremony on Friday, April 13, the Las Cruces TheraPaws organization will present special oxygen masks to the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department. The masks will allow responders in the field to administer oxygen to gerbils, cats, dogs and even horses.
TheraPaws member Debbie Seavey said the organization already has donated masks for animal resuscitation to the City of Las Cruces. She said a donation to the county’s 16 volunteer fire districts was a logical next step.
While the primary mission of firefighters is the preservation and protection of human life and real property, they offer encounter non-human victims of smoke inhalation. The masks, Seavey said, will allow them the option to save animals when the time and manpower are available.
Monsivaiz said he welcomes the masks as a new tool for his men and women in the field.
“I’m a pet owner myself,” he said, “and I understand the incredible attachment people have to their pets. They’re members of the family, too. These masks are a great addition to our field tools.”
The masks are manufactured by Wag’n Enterprises, LLC, of Herndon, Virginia.
The donation of the masks will occur Friday on the north lawn of the Doña Ana County Government Center. There will be fire trucks and other equipment on hand for the public to tour as part of the ceremony.
Seavey and other members of the Las Cruces TheraPaws chapter will be on hand to give interviews, provide information and solicit donations for additional mask purchases. At present, there are only enough masks to outfit half the county’s fleet, and she said her goal is to get the devices on every truck.