MVMA and Invisible Fence® Brand Collaborate to Offer Pet Oxygen Mask Donation Program
First Save, Interlochen, Michigan, 2007
The Michigan Veterinary Medical Association Members (MVMA) and Invisible Fence® Brand (IFB) dealers are teaming up to ensure Fire Departments and First Responders throughout the State are equipped with specially designed oxygen mask kits in an effort to save more pets from succumbing to fire/smoke inhalation.
“By bringing local member veterinarians and local IFB dealers together to offer fire departments the oxygen mask kits we hope to draw more attention to pet safety and the importance of appropriate medical care for pets,” said Karlene Belyea, Executive Director, MVMA.
Although the number of pets that die in fires is not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets each year that die in fires; most succumbing to smoke inhalation.
As part of the collaborative effort between Invisible Fence® Brand and member veterinarians the oxygen mask kits will be jointly presented to local fire departments throughout Michigan. Invisible Fence® Brand will continue to cover the cost of the kits and asks that members make a donation to the Michigan Animal Health Foundation in order to further build funds to support research that will benefit the health and well being of animals. The value of the specially-designed oxygen mask kit is $60 which includes a small, medium and large mask, tubing, cleaning and operational instructions, as well as a protective bag.
“With the addition of the oxygen mask program to our member benefits, we also hope to help gain exposure through media and community for member veterinarians, MVMA, and Invisible Fence® Brand dealers.”
To date, Invisible Fence® Brand has donated more than 1,600 kits to fire stations throughout the United States and Canada.
“We are excited to partner with the MVMA and member veterinarians on a program that is very near and dear to our hearts—there is nothing better than hearing about a life saved,” said Laura Wright, Donation Coordinator, Invisible Fence® Brand.
“We believe member veterinarians will elevate the program to a new level by helping to educate fire department personnel and the community on the importance of quick, uninterrupted flow of oxygen to a pet after a fire in order to improve the chances of survival.”
After you've had a chance to review the check list, contact MVMA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517/347-4710 to get started!
Making Contact with Fire Stations
• Research Fire Departments in your local area
• An Internet search will pull up most fire dept. web sites and list the Chief and contact information
• Place a call to the Chief; gauge his interest in receiving a donation and fax or email the donation form. Ask if he is a member of a Fire Chief’s Association - a great way to reach multiple stations within a county
• Gauge their acceptance of a demonstration/media event. Attempt to set a date/time for demo
Coordinating with MVMA and IFB
• Donation form must be completed by fire dept. personnel and faxed or emailed to Invisible Fence® Brand contact listed on the donation form.
• An Invisible Fence representative and the MVMA will put the local member and IFB dealer in contact to coordinate the mask donation.
• The donation request will be fulfilled within 3 weeks of receiving; keep this in mind when setting demo date; kits will be shipped to the IFB dealer. The IFB dealer will bring kits to the demonstration.
• Donation must be given to a fire dept., first responder, etc. We do not sell or donate to groups or individuals. The program is limited to one kit per station.
• The local veterinarian participating must make a $100 donation to the Michigan Animal Health Foundation, 2144 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI 48864 (MVMA non-profit foundation).
• Determine date/time/location of demo
• Determine who to invite; city gov’t, influencers, humane society, shelters, etc.
• Let the fire department take the lead; however, don’t be afraid to step in and help if the dept. contact is less than enthusiastic.
• Determine demo dog; make sure the dog is comfortable with the mask prior to the demonstration. Most IFB dealers are able to bring their dog. At times we have used a dog from an area shelter or humane society. The key is to make sure the dog is prepared and not frightened.
Media Set Up
• Offer the media release and advisory to the dept.; IFB dealer will customize and send to the dept.
• The media release and advisory should come from the fire dept.; most depts. have a Public Information Officer
• Remember Fire Departments are a public entity; they want good news too!
• Ask the fire station for a list of media contacts; for your records.
• You will get a feel of how the dept. thinks media will respond.
• If you know a local newspaper editor, don’t be afraid to call them and tell them what you are doing.
• For TV, Mondays are a really good day to get coverage; slow news day!
Day of Demonstration-Be Prepared!
• Go early and practice - Offer the Chief an in-service for staff
• Look professional and bring your medical knowledge to the table; the media and the community want to know how to keep their pets safe.
• Bring an additional staff member to take great pictures! Nice close-ups of mask demo on dog; group shot with fire department
• Send a thank you to the Chief immediately after the event; ask the Chief to notify you of saves!
• Get press clippings; record TV - most stations will not sell you a tape. Watch media websites
• Send releases to media that do not attend demo; attached a photo that you took - id people in photo; IFB dealer will assist with media follow up
• IFB will make professional press sheets; if you don’t get press, make your own! Send your media clips to the IFB dealer or MVMA
Communication List-Who are you going to tell right now and in the future?
• Clients/Influencers - Post press sheet in office, web site, email, social media sites, newsletters
• Community-Share the good news with member organizations, chamber, schools, etc.