A North Madison County firefighter is conducting a fundraiser for equipment to better service animals found at the scenes of fires for the seven North Madison County fire departments.

Melissa Turner, Officer at the Valley View Volunteer Fire Department, said that this equipment has been known to save the lives of many beloved pets.

“This equipment is specialized to get oxygen to animals,” Turner said. “I think it is a great piece to have on a truck and I know some firefighters personally in North Mississippi who have saved tons of animals with this equipment.”

The item is a V7148 Recovery Mask Kit. Each kit includes three durable oxygen masks, tubing and a carrying case.

Each unit costs about $65 each, plus shipping. As of Wednesday, Turner said she had raised about $265 of the $450 goal. They hope to provide one for the Camden, Farmhaven, Flora, Gluckstadt, Kearney Park, Southwest and Valley View Fire Departments, many of which are all or partly volunteer.

“This is my first fundraiser,” Turner said.

She said that a local veterinarian has already donated one of the seven kits and another has volunteered to meet with members of each of the seven departments to conduct a brief training session for the equipment and answer questions.

“We have gotten a lot of help from local vet clinics and I still have a few I need to call,” Turner said. “We are excited about making this equipment available to our responders.”

Turner said that she has been involved with emergency first response her entire life and is a third generation firefighter.

“Both my dad and grandad were fire chiefs,” she said. “Chasing fire trucks has been a passion of mine for a long time so this is something I have been around and am passionate about and this was a simple piece of equipment I thought we could easily raise money to put on our trucks.”

Turner started the fundraiser on Facebook this month. She hopes to have the full amount raised by the end of the month and have the equipment distributed and implemented shortly after that.

For more information, call Turner at 601-624-4490 or visit the Facebook page where funds can be donated directly https://www.facebook.com/donate/417300015788194/10216842717754568/.