PET oxygen masks have been handed to firefighters in Govan to help animals caught in house fires.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was at the handover at the fire station in her constituency yesterday, with the pet resuscitation equipment donated by Smokey Paws Charity.

There are 63 such kits in Scotland's 300 plus fire stations as part of an ongoing partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and the not-for-profit organisation.

A spokesman for the fire service said they often come across pets that have suffered smoke inhalation when attending house fires and masks designed for people are not always easy to use on animals.

Smokey Paws promotes the use of pet-sized oxygen masks – the same type as used by veterinarians during medical procedures – among fire services throughout the UK.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer John Dickie, of the SFRS Response and Resilience directorate, said: “Our crews are dedicated to saving lives and while our priority is always to protect people, there are certainly times when firefighters work to save pets.

“A fire in the home can still be an absolutely devastating experience even when people escape unhurt.

“For many people a pet is a member of their family and if it suffers from breathing in smoke then they look to our crews to help save its life.

“If this partnership with Smokey Paws means firefighters getting access to a piece of equipment that will help them to do that then it’s obviously something that’s well worth being part of.”