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Girl Scouts buy pet oxygen masks for fire crews


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    MERCED COUNTY, California (KFSN) — When disaster strikes, having an evacuation plan is key.

A troop of Girl Scouts is taking action to help fire crews in the North Valley save the lives of pets.

“I’m proud of how they place the value in their community they want to help out and they’re touched by the animals in distress that can be saved,” says Lily Walker, the leader of Troop 3003.

The girls of the troop sold 4,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to purchase 10 pet oxygen masks for local fire crews.

The girls, who have been together since they were five years old, are used to selling 6,000 boxes in the Merced, Atwater and Turlock areas, but the pandemic meant their sales tactics would have to be online this year.

“Our troop is full of go-getter girls who love animals, love doing activities and getting together,” says Walker.

A video from last year shows the girls’ pet oxygen mask donation from 2018 being put to work.

Merced City fire crews were able to save 3 dogs from an apartment fire – each required oxygen.

“It makes me feel really good that we can be a part of helping some animals lives and we can help out our community that we live in,” says Girl Scout Bree Sterkeson.

This week, the girls donated six pet oxygen masks to CAL FIRE Merced County.

Assistant chief Mark Pimentel says prior to this donation, they would use a human oxygen mask to aid animals.

“This mask gives us the opportunity to help animals in need and give them a greater deal of oxygen,” he says.

Four of the troop members were presented with certificates before getting a tour of the fire engines. Each will be stocked with one of their donated masks.

“It’s an honor they reached out to us and to see these young women doing great things in our community. I look forward to see how they’ll help out our community as they grow older,” says Pimentel.

Girl scout cookie sales kick off again in January.

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