Donated mannequins give Charleston firefighters additional pet CPR training

The Charleston Fire Department recently received a pair of pet mannequins that will help first responders practice life-saving techniques.

A pair of pet mannequins were donated to the Charleston Fire Department, equipping first responders with additional tools to practice CPR and other techniques used to save area animals.

The Invisible Fence Brand and Bees Ferry Animal Hospital donated the specially designed “CaSpeR” mannequins as part of “Project Breathe,” the Fire Department said in a news release.

The national initiative aims to supply fire stations with pet oxygen masks and other life-saving equipment. Invisible Fence Brand has donated more than 10,000 pet oxygen masks in the United States and Canada, according to the release.

All Charleston Fire Department apparatuses are equipped with the pet oxygen masks. The “CaSpeR” mannequins will allow first responders to practice additional life-saving measures that can be used in the event of a fire or other emergency, the release said.

“Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic, it is estimated that thousands of pets die each year in home fires; most succumbing to smoke inhalation,” Charleston Fire Department EMS Manager Brett Huntley said in the release. “The donation of these specially designed and potentially lifesaving products enables firefighters to have the tools and training to attend to an animal in distress. With the addition of the CaSpeR mannequins, we can improve our training using the masks and initiating animal CPR.”

The Fire Department offered the following tips to help keep pets safe:

Ensure pets are not left unattended around an open flame.

When leaving pets home alone, keep them in an area near entrances where firefighters can find them.

While practicing home fire drills, be sure to discuss who is responsible for evacuating pets from a home.

Consider installing monitored smoke alarms in homes which can alert the Fire Department in the event of a fire.

If a fire occurs, inform first responders of any pets that are in the home and their location.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at