Ahh the one of the oldest calls in the books. Firefighters rescuing cats has got to be one of the most cliché perception of the fire service. But to answer the question honestly is yes firefighters will sometimes rescue cats out of trees but most of the times the cats don’t need to be rescued.
I have personally been in situations where my crew and we have rescued cats from trees. A lot of times it was just for a kind elderly lady and we knew it would make her day.
Most of the time that cat was never in any distress. Since it wasn’t very high and risk of injury was rather low it seemed like a small thing to do for a citizen of our city. No problem.
Want to really thank one of those people that helped you out or maybe just a family member in the fire service? Check this out! 10 ways to Really Thank a First Responder
Ducks in a storm drain
This is a just as common as cats in a tree atleast for myself. A particular experience we spent 2-3 hours chasing 3 ducklings between two connected storm drains.
Now full disclaimer on this never climb into a storm drain. Oxygen can be limited and toxic gasses can build up in the pipe. We have gas monitors and air packs that help us maintain a safe environment.
Short story of the ducks was one managed to navigate to the run off and make it to the water safely. The other two kept getting lost so we finally managed to lure them to an exit and grab them to deliver to momma duck. Once again it made the residence of the neighborhood happy to see their firefighters have compassion even for little animals.
Vulture injured on top of a church
You know the really high pointy part usually with a cross of some sorts? Yep that’s where the vulture somehow impaled his wing and was to injured and stuck to come down. This instance we didn’t have any ladders or aerial devices that would reach that height.
Luckily a citizen was on scene who called in a buddy with a small crane that a bucket like attachment to lift a couple of firefighters to the top. The bird was very injured and was stuck for awhile before we could get to him. Fortunately we found a local bird sanctuary to care for the big guy. No matter what kind of training we do there is always something we never expected and this was one of them. Here is an idea of how we usually train.
Oh yeah snakes too!
So living in Florida we have no shortage of reptiles. And whether they are venomous or completely harmless, often times homeowners don’t know the difference and want them gone.
Well this particular instance a snake had found its way into a home and curled up on the home owners hair brush in the bathroom. So naturally the home owner is getting ready for work and goes to reach for her hair brush.
Looks down to see the little critter, screams runs out of the bathroom and locks the door. She calls 911 and we show up. Now I’m by no means a snake expert but I grew up in the outdoors and I had to know what snakes were venomous and what ones were not.
This was just a harmless garden snake. So I just picked it up and put it outside in the grass. If you are unsure if the animal is dangerous or not call for help. No problem.
Sometimes yes and sometimes no
But I’ve also been in situations where we had to tell the owner that it would not be able to do it simply due to the circumstances of location. Because believe it or not most of the time cats don’t want to come down.
So as you get closer to them they will climb higher and higher. I found that one out the hard way. In certain situations it just isn’t worth the risk.
No dead cats in trees.
So I’m not a 20 year veteran or anything but never in my lifetime have I seen a dead cat in a tree. Most of the time the cat is not stuck they simply choose not to come down. It probably climbed up because it was frightened or it was stalking a squirrel or bird. While they maybe scared to come down usually their hunger will outweigh fear and come down eventually.
Cats and dogs in burning buildings.
For sure most departments will do everything they can within safe reason to save an animal from a burning building. Heck on my truck we even carry pet oxygen masks for cats and dogs. We use these after we pull an animal out of a smokey environment.
While the first priority for all firefighters is human life safety, we also care about the little furry creatures out there. Also pro tip! They make stickers for the front windows of homes that let the fire department know their is a pet inside. That’s super helpful because animals will either run out of the home or hide when their is a fire.
Most of the time…
Most of the time the fire department will try and help any animal they can if it doesn’t put themselves or others in extreme danger. Obviously situation dependent and unique to each department with how and if they choose to try and help.
Firefighters want to try and help citizens any way they can within reason that’s including saving the furry critters when they find themselves in trouble.