We had this HUGE discussion in school about firefighting, and the first words my friend (he's from another country) said about Firefighters is that they put out fires and rescue animals from high places.
Has your company gone to rescue a cat, or maybe even a dog, from a high point?
A 1 3/4" hand line gets cats out of a tree pretty well. Don't stray them just the branch they are on! We also used are air bags to lift a shed up to get a pit bull out from under it. Cut fences to get their stuck heads out of it. Tear a hair catcher thing out of a bathtub cuz a dogs toenail was stuck in it. So I guess you can say we have did alot of pet rescues! Oh and the best the two loving dogs I own now cuz some dumb jack wagon left them on the sidewalk at the station in a cage late at night in 100 plus heat!
I was more trying to make a rhetorical point that animal rescue is not nearly as dangerous as people rescue. I'd rather grab a 10lb cat any day than carry a 150lb person down a ladder.
In reality which one have you had more training on? Assisting a person down or carrying an animal? Yes, assisting a person, conscious or not, is a risk, yet is a risk we train on. We have ladder carries that if a person panics, we can lock them to the ladder and calm them down. Not the same thing with animals. That 10lb cat isn't going to necessarily cooperate the same. When it gets scared and starts clawing and scratching the rescuer and the person falls, is that an acceptable risk? And that is if you do have a good grip on the animal, let alone it fights you and climbs back on up.
I'm trying to think about how we would explain this to a civilian; running into a burning building, donning a haz-mat suit, or tackling an aggressive patient with a head wound are all acceptable risks, but a non-emergency ladder pitch is too dangerous?
Not talking about ladder pitch, but to answer such a question comes down to training. Going into a burning building, we have training and proper equipment to do that. HAZ-MAT, depends, not everyone has the same level of training, we don't just go into a HAZMAT situation because there is a problem and we were called, instead there are people trained and equipped to handle it. Pt care is another area we typically train on and have equipment (restraints) etc to mitigate the issue.
That is my point here Vic, it is one thing if one actually has training and equipment to handle such an incident. Every incident involves a risk assessment, but reality is we should not be taking unnecessary chances and risks. Just like if the FD is called to a "man down" in a confined space, we should not just arbitrarily go in. It is bad enough a few depts had FF's injured because they rushed in and were levied fines for doing such things most of us here say they wouldn't.
So now explain why a FF is disabled from a fall from a ladder because the stupid cat in the tree reacted wrong and the rescuer lost their balance and fell. Then try and defend such actions when asked if the proper training was in place and the rescuer received it, was the proper equipment in place and so forth.....It is the risk assessment....is such "PR" worth it?
Ever done recovery work in flood zones? Then you know the answer to this is, "yes". I have seen cat skeletons (and other animals as well) in trees; usually trapped amongst brush and detritus stuck in the limbs. Sorry, but have seen this question too many times and just had to be a wise acre!