BURTON, S.C. (WSAV) — When you give money to a cause, it can be hard to see exactly how you made a difference.
Thanks to donations Lowcountry firefighters were able to save a family’s dogs after a fire damaged their Broad River home on Dec. 9.
“We made it to the door and the homeowner said all the animals were still inside,” said Chase Davidson, a firefighter and EMT with Burton Fire.
Five animals in all. So they went into the smoke-filled building to save some four legged lives.
“Dogs especially when they are not around their owner, a guy in gear with a mask on is going to scare a dog,” Davidson said. “In fact, we found the second dog hiding, hiding under a table.”
And were able to pull a total of five dogs from the home safely. Two needed help and that’s where an important piece of equipment came in.
“As you know with animals they have a snout,” said Virginia Marshall, Beaufort County EMS. “It is long and point and this will fit over them appropriately because you want to have a tight seal like with humans to provide oxygen.”
These pet oxygen masks were donated by an invisible fence to Beaufort County EMS back in 2019 and all EMT’s in the field are trained on the devices.
Since then those kits have helped protect and save multiple animal lives including two at this scene alone.
“We gave oxygen to him and Within 5-10 minutes he was back moving around,” Davidson said.
“Any living creature a dog a cat a bird when we work with fire departments at structure fires or accidents we are providing medical care to any living being,” Marshall said.
While the home was severely damaged the staff believes this was a success because everyone human or animal walked away safely. Officials said the people inside during situations like these play a key role in making sure that happens.
“If you can grab your pets when there’s a fire, you can grab them on the way out. By all means do that,” Cpt Daniel Byrne/Burton Fire Department said. “But if the animals run and hide, get out of the house. If you are not on the front lawn and telling us who those animals are and where to start looking for them we are behind the clock and if you go in the house and become a victim yourself you are actually doing more harm to the animals you are trying to save.”
Since the last donation of masks in 2019, Beaufort EMS has grown with more staff and more trucks. They are hoping to get additional donations to stock all of their vehicles.
A GoFundMe was created to help the family, with a goal of reaching $5,000.