gmhTODAY 09 gmhToday July Aug 2016 - Page 53

R ealtor and Morgan Hill resident, Terry Moriyama, credits her zoologist mother, Hallie Solberg, for her love of animals. “She instilled in me the compassion I have for all creatures, great and small,” Moriyama said. “I grew up as an only child, and all my siblings had scales, feathers, or fur.” Moriyama’s non-profit organiza- tion, Air For Paws, is living proof of her continued love and dedication to her four-legged friends. The idea began twelve years ago, when Moriyama read about a fire in Seminole County where both a hamster, and a kitten were saved by the use of an animal resuscitation mask. After reading the article, Moriyama knew she’d found her way to give back. “There was a need, and I could fill the need,” Moriyama said. For the next four years Moriyama worked at trying to get her idea off the ground, with little success. And then, in 2008, Moriyama read an article about a San Martin house fire, where several pets died due to the fire. Derek Witmer, who was Battalion Chief at the time, was quoted in the article. “I am looking into finding community support to purchase oxygen masks used by veterinarians to keep on fire trucks.” Moriyama knew the moment she read his words that she’d found the one person who could make her idea a reality. “She just walked in one day and told me she saw the article in the paper, and she had an idea, something she’d always wanted to do,” Witmer recalled. With the assistance of Witmer and Morgan Hill veterinarian, Dr. Michelle Griffin, Moriyama’s vet, two types of GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JULY / AUGUST 2016 animal resuscitation kits were developed. The first, for fire fighters, contained a veterinarian surgical mask used to administer oxygen; a leash; a laminated instruction card; and a DVD detailing the procedure to be used when an animal was found unconscious. The second kit included the same items, with the addition of a ventilation bag for first responders without oxygen tanks on their vehicles. It was Moriyama’s idea to paint a white paw print on the front of the kits, as a way to differentiate them from the firefighters’ other equipment. “So really, it was all of us putting our heads together when we were designing them, with Derek heading it up,” Moriyama said. Once the kits were put together, Moriyama donated 10 of them at a cost of 53