News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012
MARTINEZ, Ga. -- A tiny piece of equipment on board Columbia County fire trucks helped save a life Tuesday.
A dog suffering from smoke inhalation was able to get the oxygen he needed. For firefighters, it's all about saving the big and little lives.
Dachshund Chip is one of the lucky ones. He was covered in soot after his family's Martinez home caught fire Tuesday afternoon.
"We just put this over the animal's snout and provide them the oxygen until they get to feeling better," explained Columbia County Martinez Fire Captain Robert Rosier.
Medics were able to quickly give him oxygen, thanks to a donation made a couple of years ago.
"These are wonderful devices, makes it very easy for us to help provide the oxygen to the dog and help save their lives. It's actually life-saving equipment," Rosier said.
Barbara Gleitsmann at CSRA Happy Tails Rescue helped raise the money for the masks.
"I was just so pleased. An anonymous donor donated three sets and I believe we raised over $1,000 to purchase the rest, so every fire department has a set of pet oxygen masks," Gleitsmann said.
"It was awesome. It was very heartfelt on their part that they care very much about the animals," Rosier said.
Small, medium, large, cats and dogs ... they're ready when your pet needs help.
"Since we've had them we've used them about 5 to 6 times and that's fortunate that we haven't had more animals injured at this point," Rosier said.
"That's wonderful, that's wonderful. We were honored to do it," Gleitsmann said.
It's a small thing that could mean the world to a helpless pet.
"I have a little dog, and I would not want anything in the world to happen to little Rex, so I'm very happy that they're on the trucks and they're available, should anything ever happen," Rosier said.
"I'm just so proud of it and to know that once again, a family pet was saved due to the volunteers' efforts. It's very rewarding," Gleitsmann said.
The group has also donated masks for each fire department at Fort Gordon.
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