A MAJOR drive is underway to ensure every firefighter in Scotland is equipped to save the lives of pets caught up in house fires.

Firefighters have always worked to resuscitate animals suffering from severe smoke inhalation - including adapting standard oxygen therapy kits used to treat people.

But now crews are being given unique oxygen therapy kits especially for animals – thanks to a partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and not-for-profit organisation Smokey Paws.

The kits have been delivered to more than 270 fire stations across Scotland since the SFRS first joined forces with Smokey Paws in 2016.

But Smokey Paws founders Lynn Carberry and Brian Lockyer now want to ensure that every one of Scotland’s 356 fire stations has a kit.

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Brian said: “When we discovered UK fire and rescue services did not carry lifesaving pet oxygen masks, we imported a set of oxygen masks from the USA and donated them to our local fire service.

“As word spread of our donation, more and more people came forward with offers to donate money to buy more pet oxygen masks for their local stations, to give their pets the best chance of survival in a house fire or road traffic accident.

“This was the start of Smokey Paws and our mission of equipping every fire engine in the UK with pet oxygen masks. Three years on, we are proud to have helped supply 2,900 sets but there are still over 900 fire engines in the UK without a Smokey Paws kit.”

Local Senior Officer Paul Devlin added: “The number one priority for firefighters is to save all life and we have seen on too many occasions the huge impact the loss of a beloved pet can have.

“Lynn and Brian identified a gap in the equipment carried on our appliances and introduced this fantastic initiative.

“The SFRS owes a huge thank you to them for bringing Smokey Paws to the UK fire services.”