Saturday, 2:15 PM
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
A New Bedford firefighter apparently took the bit about rescuing cats from trees a few steps further. The Standard-Times reported today that firefighter Al Machado rushed into a burning building on Summer Street Monday and performed "mouth to mouth resuscitation" on a cat that had been trapped in a second-floor apartment.
Really. And there's video.
Machado could not be reached today to confirm the story. (A dispatcher said he was busy fighting a fire on Front Street.) Can mouth to mouth resuscitation really be given to a cat?
"If a pet's involved in a fire, it can be relatively common," said Brian Adams, a spokesman for Angell Medical Center, which is run by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
In fact, the MSPCA kicked off a fund-raiser last week in Springfield to buy oxygen masks for cats and dogs for each of the city's 18 fire engines. The goal is to raise $5,400 for the 36 masks and another $2,000 for a dog and cat CPR manikin. ("Ruff to the Rescue" is selling white stuffed animal dogs wearing red fire helmets for $20.)
"This is a pilot program that we are hoping will catch on," Adams said.
Performing CPR on a cat or a dog requires training. In many ways, it is the opposite of what rescuers do for humans, which typically involves pinching the nose closed and covering the person's mouth with one's own lips to create a seal.
With dogs or cats, a rescuer holds the animal's mouth shut and puts their mouth around the snout.
"It's almost like a kiss," Adams said. "You pucker up your lips and put it over the cat's nose and breathe through the nostrils while doing chest compressions."
"For a dog, it would be similar."
This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.