Picture this. You’re home with your pets when there is a serious accident, and a life-threatening emergency.
Calling 911 may be your first priority, but making sure your animals are safe should be your second.
Staff from the Plano Fire-Rescue, based in Plano, Texas, recently posted some helpful advice on how to keep pets from running off or disrupting emergency response crews if they are called to your home.
“When called to an emergency with dogs (pets) present, it’s helpful to let the 911 call taker know so they can pass that information on to us,” the department posted. “Ideally, the dogs should be put up prior to our arrival for the following reasons:
- Several firefighters walking into a residence carrying equipment can be stressful for any pets.
- We don’t want any pets slipping past us and getting out into the neighborhood as that would just add more stress to any situation.
- Our four-legged friends may not always understand our actions and could become protective of their human.
- Securing pets before we arrive is safer for our patients, the pets themselves and our firefighters.
“We realize that putting pets away prior to our arrival isn’t always possible,” the post continues. “However, the earlier we find out the better prepared we can be and can even assist in putting them into another room or into a secured backyard. If needed, we can always call City of Plano Animal Services for assistance.”
Dogs, especially energetic and large dogs that may act out in an attempt to “protect” their family, must be kept out of the way of first responders. A failure to do so could affect the ability of emergency service crews to respond adequately, and in time to save a life.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.