A firefighter who teamed up with a Gobowen charity to raise funds for pet-sized oxygen masks has been recognised.

Watch manager Martin Huckle received an award from deputy chief fire officer Dave Myers for his “innovative thinking” and charitable work after helping to co-ordinate the campaign.

It was launched less than two years ago after he was contacted by Hectors Greyhound Rescue which held a charity walk to buy the first two mini oxygen masks specifically designed for cats, dogs and smaller animals.

Since then a total of 28 masks costing £90 each have now been placed on all Shropshire’s fire appliances, paid for from donations.

Martin, who regularly gets calls from other brigades for advice on the pet oxygen masks, said: “We’ve used them three times in the past 18 months.

“Small animals inhale smoke four times faster than we do and can collapse very quickly. Human oxygen masks, which we used in the past, just don’t fit properly and these pet sized masks are much more effective in reviving them and saving their lives.”

He was awarded alongside technical support officer Emily Hodson, who work at Shrewsbury fire HQ, after she organised a bring your pet to work day to raise money for three charities including the Smoky Paws national charity which provides the pet masks.

Firefighters have used the masks to revive cats in house fires in Ellesmere and Shrewsbury, and sheep and spring lambs in Whitchurch.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is one of the first brigades in the UK to have the masks on all fire appliances.