Library donates pet oxygen masks to ambulance service

Meg Haskell, left, a volunteer with the Stockton Springs Community Library, and Charles “Chas” Hare, director of ambulance services for Stockton Springs and Prospect, demonstrate how to fit Ellie, a Labrador Retriever, with a special oxygen mask in cases of smoke inhalation or other toxic exposures. The library recently donated a set of three masks to the ambulance service in appreciation of the crew’s participation in health literacy programing.

Stockton Springs and Prospect –First responders in these small Waldo County towns have a new set of life-saving oxygen masks especially for pets and other small domestic animals. The masks, which can be used for creatures suffering from smoke inhalation and other toxic exposures, were donated to the Stockton Springs ambulance service on Thursday, May 16, by the Stockton Springs Community Library in recognition of the crew’s participation in three recent blood pressure and blood sugar screenings. 

The free screenings were part of the library’s “Access Wellness” health literacy programming, aimed at promoting public access to reliable, non-commercial health information and services. The programming, which also included slide presentations, healthy snacks, library displays and more, was made possible by community volunteers with funding from Healthy Acadia and the National Library of Medicine. 

“With the growing use of alternative fuels, the risk of structure fires is ever increasing,” said Charles “Chas” Hare, director of ambulance services for Stockton Springs and Prospect. “And just about everyone these days has a pet. So these masks are a very important addition to our equipment.”

The set of three differently sized oxygen masks will fit anything from a gerbil to a goat, Hare said, and comes complete with tubing and other accessories for use with standard oxygen tanks aboard the two ambulance trucks. One truck is already outfitted with a set of masks for animals, he said, so the second set ensures that both trucks are now prepared to treat pets, small livestock and other creatures in the event of a fire or other emergency. 

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