Saving our four-legged friends, how firefighters are training for animal rescues

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - Our four-legged friends are getting some extra attention that could save their lives. The Pimlico Fire Department trained Thursday on how to handle animals and get them out safely during emergencies.

"If we can save one more life that's pretty important to a lot of people, some that's all they have is their pet."

For fire chief Buck Newcomb and his fellow firefighters that's worth a four-hour training.

"We have anywhere from Equestrian to household pets in our district, so we get called for everything under the sun, and it's just something else to add to our list that we can provide."

Genete Bowen and Cindy Ell are the forces behind DogE911 and the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation. They travel around the country for trainings like the one at Pimlico Fire Department.

"You never know when in a career or when in your lifetime you're going to encounter an animal or human in need and combine the two skill sets," says Ell, the executive director of the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation.

The trainers say about 60 percent of pet owners will not evacuate their home without their pet.

"The likelihood that this going to happen and they're going to have to deal with rescuing an animal is very high, is extremely high," explains Bowen, the founder of DogE911.

The training involves preventive care, first aid, and disaster preparedness for cats and dogs to horses and hamsters. Bowen says for a family who has lost their home, having their pet around is a tremendous comfort.

"If they've lost everything they own, all their family albums, the things that they enjoy, but they still have their family and that includes their family pets."