Recently, members of the Mount Oliver Fire Department (MOFD) attended a first aid class. This was not a normal first aid class, the patients that they were training on were house pets.
The class was taught by Allegheny County Emergency Services personnel Donna Duncan, Beth Butler and Norma Piloth along with their dogs, Annie, a Chihuahua, and Gunner, a German shepherd. Also in attendance was Sergeant Juzwick of the Mount Oliver Police K-9 Unit.
The MOFD has three EMTs, two paramedics, and eight trained first responders and now has14 members trained in basic pet first aid and CPR. Two years ago The MOFD purchased a set of oxygen masks designed for use on dogs and cats, this class was a refresher on their use.
It did not take long for the training to pay off, on a recent morning the fire department was called to assist at a house fire on Souler Street in Baldwin. The fire was contained to the basement and there were no human injuries but the owner's cat was overcome with smoke. Mount Oliver Fire Department Assistant Chief Ron Lowrey and Captain Andy Marsh treated the feline with oxygen much to the relief of the owner.