Video of cat resuscitation inspires fire department donations

Source: Columbia Fire Department
Source: Columbia Fire Department
Mary Ellen Tobias and Nena Sinclair donate pet 02 kits to Columbia Fire Department
Mary Ellen Tobias and Nena Sinclair donate pet 02 kits to Columbia Fire Department

BLYTHEWOOD, SC (WIS) - A news story showing Columbia firefighters resuscitating a cat inspired two local animal lovers to work on providing every fire department in South Carolina with the same technology that saved the cat.

"I think it was the five o'clock news on WIS, I saw where the firemen had gone into Olympia," Mary Ellen Tobias said. "There was a house fire and after the fire, they got the fire out, they went in and found Soldier, I think was the kitten's name, and he was unconscious. And they brought him out and they showed--y'all showed on television--them resuscitating the cat, which was quite something with the four big firemen in all that heavy equipment in 100-degree weather and here's this precious little cat." 

"It showed him waking up and one of the firemen pouring water into his hand for him to drink out of, and I went to pieces," she said.

Those images forced Tobias into action. She called her best friend, Nena Sinclair, and they quickly raised enough money among friends and businesses to buy 12 Wag'N O2 Fur Life kits for the Columbia Fire Department.

"We think this is very important and that each truck needs to have one," Tobias said.

Tobias, Sinclair and friends are now working to raise donations for all 18 fire stations in Fairfield County. Their goal is to eventually equip every fire department in the state with the life-saving equipment.

"We are grateful to the two young ladies that donated this equipment to us," Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said.

"We recently had a save where we were able to put one on a pet and was able to revive this pet, so if you've got just one or two that you can revive, I think that's awesome."

"To go out and make a save, it really drives something home with the firefighters, and some firefighters got pets themselves, they've got children," Jenkins said. "So any time you make some kind of save, that's what the job is all about. They get very emotional when they do make that kind of save."

Click here to donate a Wag'N O2 Fur Life kit to the fire department of your choice. You can make a donation in the name or memorial of your own pet.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.