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MFB fireys donate bandages to Wildlife Victoria

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08 Feb 2012
Firefighters are often called to rescue various wildlife and animals, but rarely do they apply bandages to their furry victims.

So, when it came time to replace the dressings used by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, one animal-loving firey couldn’t bear to see the bandages go to waste.

Last month MFB’s Emergency Medical Services department decided to throw out the discontinued bandages to ensure the dressings in each first aid kit on board each fire truck were consistent.  Station Officer Janine Glenn approached Wildlife Victoria to see whether the bandages could be used for animal welfare, rather than disposed of into landfill.

“The response we got from Wildlife Victoria was fantastic, they were really grateful for the donation and will definitely be able to put them to good use,” SO Glenn said.  “This means all the non-compliant burns dressings can be used on injured native wildlife as part of their animal rescue function.”

MFB CEO Nick Easy said firefighters were often required to use the dressings when providing medical care to injured patients as part of their Emergency Medical Response (EMR) role.

“It is heartening to see the firefighters take the initiative to recycle the bandages in such a positive and helpful way,” he said.  “The dressings are of various sizes and in perfectly good condition to be used on injured or wounded animals.”

The donation couldn’t have come at a better time with Wildlife Victoria about to launch a public appeal for donations and assistance.

“Wildlife Victoria would like to acknowledge and thank the MFB who have supported Wildlife Victoria and volunteers on many occasions during some very interesting wildlife rescues,” CEO Karen Masson said.

“The donation of these bandages will help the volunteer carers tend to more and more wildlife; they will definitely come in handy.  What we urgently need is financial support to continue to provide the emergency phone service to the community and for the welfare of native wildlife.

Wildlife Victoria is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organisation, providing a vital community emergency phone service - 13 000 WILDLIFE (13 000 94535). This service allows sick, injured and orphaned wildlife to be linked to a network of more than 800 volunteers across Victoria who will then rescue, rehabilitate and release that wildlife.   The charity heavily relies on the kindness of the public for donations and has trained volunteer disaster response teams that can be called upon at any time to assist in wildlife rescue emergencies such as bushfires.

For more than a decade, MFB has provided the EMR service, this means when someone calls triple-zero for an ambulance both MFB and Ambulance Victoria are sent as a dual response.  Each fire truck is fitted out with a first aid kit, oxygen resuscitation equipment and a defibrillator, and firefighters are trained to give medical assistance until an ambulance arrives on scene.

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