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Lysander Clerk steps up with lifesaving air equipment for pets

Lysander Town Clerk Lisa Dell, right, donates a lifesaving device for pets to the Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps. With her are GBAC Director of Operations Matt Cheevers, center, and Mike Kasprzak of Gates Funeral Home, who matched Dell’s donation.

Lysander Town Clerk Lisa Dell, right, donates a lifesaving device for pets to the Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps. With her are GBAC Director of Operations Matt Cheevers, center, and Mike Kasprzak of Gates Funeral Home, who matched Dell’s donation.

— For any pet lover, making sure your pet is safe is a big priority. In the event of a fire, it's often difficult to locate a pet and get them to safety. Pets are often more vulnerable to smoke inhalation in fires because they hide. Unfortunately human oxygen masks don’t fit properly on animals and can’t be used to provide them with the much needed oxygen in the event of a fire.

Lysander Town Clerk Lisa Dell, who owns Lola, a hound mix she adopted from Helping Hounds Dog Rescue in Dewitt, wanted to do something to help pet owners in the Lysander community. Dell, a former police officer, decided to use her own money to purchase and donate a pet oxygen recovery kit the Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps.

“Having a pet myself, I would hate to think of what would happen if she were rescued but not be able to receive help once she were saved,” Dell said. “The kit I donated contains three different sizes of oxygen masks specifically designed to be used on pets."

Local Lysander business owner, Mike Kasprzak of Gates Funeral Home, liked the idea so much he asked if he could match Dell's donation, which of course the town clerk welcomed. The two kits are being provided to the GBAC.

"It is my hope in the near future that all ambulances in Central New York will have a pet oxygen mask on board,” Dell said.

According to Matt Cheevers, director of operations of the GBAC, the masks are a welcome addition.

"With budgets as tight as they are, we welcomed the donations from the Lysander Town Clerk and from Mr. Kasprzak to help those pets involved in a fire,” Cheevers said. “Having these masks on our rigs gives us the opportunity to not only help people, but their pets as well."

The kits, which contain three different sizes of little cup-shaped pet oxygen masks specifically designed to be used on pets, cost $81.70 each. The little cup-shaped pet masks were originally developed for use by veterinarians and seal around the muzzle of an animal tighter than a human mask. This helps firefighters deliver the right amount of oxygen to the pet and also protects the firefighters from an injured animal who may try to bite out of fear.

For more information, call Dell at 638-0224.

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