August 16, 2007

Gabby with Denny and Mary Ann and Fire Chief Scott Anderson.

Mary Ann and Denny donated 4 sets of Animal Oxygen Masks to the Maple Grove Fire Department so that all their fire stations would have a set of masks to use for animals in case of an emergency. Before we set it up to make the donations, Mary Ann called the Fire Chief to see if they had any of the oxygen masks already. They only had 1 set of masks.

The idea was prompted after the Great Dane Club of Greater Kansas City members donated the same masks to the Kansas City Fire Department. Now the challenge is out to all Great Dane owners around the country to do the same for their city's Fire Department. You can read more about this on the H.E.L.P. website. Scroll down on that site to see the write-up.

Mary Ann and Denny are members of the Heart of Minnesota Great Dane Club,  the Great Dane Club of Arizona, as well as the Great Dane Club of America. We are glad to help. You never know when you might need this type of help for your pet! The masks fit many kinds of animals.

Click on the photos to see a larger version.

Denny and Gabby Land with Fire Chief Scott Anderson, and Firefighters Bill Beumer and Chris Baker. Bill also does fire safety programs for the Maple Grove Fire Department and Chris is a newly appointed Lieutenant at the Maple Grove Fire Department.

We met a couple other Fire Fighters while we were there too, but didn't get their photos unfortunately. They were Mike Paider and Tim Haider. Mike is an EMT and Tim is a full time Fire Fighter in another city in the metropolitan area, as well as a part time fire fighter in Maple Grove.

Before they attempted to use the masks, the Maple Grove Fire Fighters took a training class from the BART organization (Basic Animal Rescue Training) to further assist in learning how to help in their rescue of animals and how to use the equipment. One of the firefighters even mentioned that BART taught him how to hold a cat in a stressful situation so as not to injure the cat or himself while going through the rescue process.

Please check with your local Fire Department before purchasing masks to see if they have masks already and if they have had training on using them. Dr. Burger talks more about that below.

Dr. Karina Burger, the Vice President of BART at the time of this event, has given us some information to help you understand what BART is all about and how important it is to know how to use the equipment before the masks or other equipment is given out. Below is what she said.

"If a first responder is injured while using equipment, and they were not trained on it, the department is liable.  We cover in our training  what pressure to set the tank at and what to do with an animal that resists the mask, etc.   All these details are important and some departments (Minneapolis FD is a great example) would not allow the equipment on the trucks till everyone had been trained.  Minneapolis now requires BART training for all their members before their station placement".  

"The state Fire/EMS leaders here have commented to us several times how pleased they are that we do not give out any equipment without training.  Also I will say again that we feel first responders need to be able to do a lot more than oxygen to be effective at helping pets and keeping themselves safe at the same time!"

"Our curriculum has been approved by MN Homeland Security and Emergency Management and we have a lot of supporters - we are endorsed by the MN Veterinary Medical Association, and have letters of support from the MN Board of Veterinary Medicine, University of MN College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Public Health, USDA-Veterinary Services, MN Departments of Health and Agriculture, MN Animal Control Association, Veterinary Medical Assistance Team -5, and the Minneapolis and Andover Fire departments.  Both the MN State Fire Chief's Association and the MN State Fire Department Association have posted information on our training on their websites, and we will be giving presentations at the upcoming Citizen Corps Conference in St. Paul in September 2007, the Arrowhead Fire Departments Annual Convention in Chisolm in September 2007, and then Mn State Fire Chief's Convention in Rochester in October 2007".

You can learn more about BART and make donations to them to help fund their training and the cost of their kits on their website. Download a BART brochure here. Read about BART stories.

All of these people, Fire Fighters, EMT's, BART trainers, etc. deserve a great amount of respect for all they do every day to help keep us safe. They are very hard working individuals.  It just goes to show that they believe in what they do and are part of the American Spirit. God Bless America!

Thank you!

If you can help, please volunteer your time as a Fire Fighter! You never know what lives you may save. You could make the difference! They are always looking for help!

For more information on joining the Maple Grove Fire Department, or to receive an application, call 763-494-6300 during business hours.

Read this attachment for an article from August 2007


Dr. Ann Burt, Virginia Rud and Mary Avriette were the BART trainers that were at our September, 2007 HMGDC meeting. They explained all about BART and showed us almost all of the things that are included in their BART kit that they train First Responders on to assist animals in fire and rescue situations.

Dr. Burt explained the use of a piece of equipment that can help capture a scared animal. She demonstrated it on Virginia's wrist. They said that what an animal will usually do is to run and hide in what they consider a safe spot instead of making it easy to rescue them. That is why they need assistance with this type of equipment, to help pull the animal out of a tight spot, like one they can not get into. This is a very flexible type wand with a loop at the end of it.


Above is a list of individuals and organizations that have made contributions to BART. The HMGDC is listed 2nd from the bottom on the right side under the Bronze contributors


Gabby's 1st page