South Abington Twp, Pennsylvania – On Wednesday, September 27, Dr. Nichole Danova, President and Director of Surgery at Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center (VREC), made a large donation to area first responders at the “Oxygen Kits for K-9’s and Kitties” event at VREC located on 318 Northern Boulevard in South Abington Township.

Dr. Nichole Danova states “At VREC, we’ve had a number of distraught patients and clients come in after suffering a house fire. The vast majority of these patients come to us in the back of an ambulance, a police car, or from rescuers that were on the scene.”

Dr. Danova continues, “First responders would have questions and concerns asking ‘Did we do everything right?’ or ‘Is there something else we could have done?’ and in the conversation to follow we realized that a lot of these police officers, EMS or ambulances didn’t have the right supplies. Although they did a great job adapting human products to the animals they really need animal specific equipment and the most basic solution for animal resuscitation is an oxygen mask.”

Michael Schuman, EMTB, Commonwealth Health EMS, states “There is a huge need for oxygen masks specific to animals. With this product, we can save the lives of animals by administering oxygen during a very critical time when those patients need to evacuate smoke from their bodies.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association it is estimated that 40,000 pets die each year in fires, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In many instances, emergency responders are not equipped to fully assist animals because they lack specially designed pet oxygen masks and training.

Dr. Nichole Danova and her team at VREC recognized the need and donated over 85 pet oxygen mask kits to emergency, fire and rescue companies in our region, including but not limited to, Carbondale, Jefferson Township, Clarks Summit, Scranton, Hamlin, and Jessup EMS, Ambulance and First Responders (see separate word document for full list to date).

Dr. Danova believes in the importance of education stating, “Every year we have the class of EMS students from Lackawanna College come to VREC to walk through the hospital and see the facility to understand what it is that we do, the role that they play and the relationship with us and the community for pets.”

Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center is continuing to donate pet oxygen kits so if you are an area first responder, call (570) 587-7777.

Here are the units that have either already received or are on the list to receive an oxygen mask kit from Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center.

Archbald Ambulance
Avoca Ambulance
Black Diamond Ambulance
Blakely Ambulance
Chinchilla Hose Company
Clarks Summit Fire Company
Clifford Fire Company
Commonwealth Health EMS
Cottage Hose Compnay
Crystal Fire Hose Company
Dickson City Ambulance
Dingman Township EMS
Emergency Medical Services of Northeast Pennsylvania Factoryville Fire Company
Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance
Greenfield Fire Company
Hamlin Fire & Rescue
Jefferson Township Ambulance
Jessup Hose Company Ambulance
Justus Fire Company
Lackawaxen EMS
Moscow Fire Company
Pennsylvania Ambulance
Pittston Township Ambulance
Pocono Mountain Regional EMS
Scott Township Fire Company