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?

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Cats will not necessarily come down on their own. They will stay in a tree for days, or longer until their strength fails and they fall to the ground. If a cat has been up there for more than 24 hours, it needs to be rescued, either by the FD (which is a public relations score), animal control, or whoever has a long ladder and heavy gloves.


I've rescued cats and birds from trees, and have spent an entire night rescuing a dog from under a collapsed pile of wood (actually called in the collapse team for this one). If your department is too busy for it, that's a shame; for the rest of us, that's why they give us the funny hats: we solve problems. Usually we classify these as "non-emergency service calls" so if an emergency occurs, we pack up and go!

if I can rescue property... than I can rescue a life... all life...
yup - 2 dead cats in a tree

Also known as food for the hawk or eagle, etc that probably took them there.
Usually we classify these as "non-emergency service calls" so if an emergency occurs, we pack up and go!

And so what happens when you are so involved in the incident that you now put others at risk because there is a more pressing issue?

I really don't care for the "what if" games, but reality is that there are people more trained and better suited for animal rescue than the average firefighter. The reason you see firefighters on such calls is because typically the caller has no other clue as what to do, or dispatch has not clue whom to send. The FD shows up and typically does "something" which works out most times, but there is a chance of things going wrong.

If we are a risk assessment organization and we respond to such incidents where we truly don't if rarely do training, are we not putting our personnel in an undue risk? How do you explain a trip to the doctor for a possible rabies exposure, What about a fall from a ladder because an animal got scared and attacked? That is my point, there are those who do have proper training and experience, like animal control.

Really PR be damned, if one is so concerned about PR and taking every opportunity, then what is the tradeoff? Are you really ready to expose personnel to harm or worse for the sake of PR? Not to me, to me, sometimes PR is telling the people whom to turn to. There may be those few and far between times we should assist, however, for the most part, we (a fire service) really shouldn't be responding just for the sake of PR.
if I can rescue property... than I can rescue a life... all life...

Huge difference in property which doesn't move, quite the contrary to a life, most likely already afraid and unpredictable, which doesn't recognize the "rescuer" and could attack or do any number of things a scared animal may do. Contrary to belief, little kitty in tree may not really understand what helpful FF may be trying to do and just come willingly. Moreso, little kitty is afraid and chances are will draw claws and start attacking said rescuer.

Rescued a couple animals from a fire and when an animal is scared, there is no predicting what they will do, for the most part, we have been lucky in such cases. A fire scene is one thing, doing so for PR is another, an typically, a BS reason.
THe only time we rescue animals is if their inside a burning building or near a Brush Fire.We don't just go get them out of a tree.

If my kitty is trapped in a tree - you won't come get it - UNLESS I LIGHT THE TREE ON FIRE...


awh - you almost had me feeling sorry for you for a minute - being scared of the little kitty cat and all...

we better not ask you to help rescue a WILD animal...
I took part in a rescue of a dog trapped in a concrete tunnel. But it wasn't a dept. call.
woah! Bad kitty!
Jeez, John, if you can't manage a ladder and PPE for a non-emergency, you probably shouldn't be messing around on a burning building with people screaming and shouting. If you have animal control, use 'em. If you're in a small town though, that may not be an option. I don't understand how anyone could have a problem with this sort of thing. Jeez, we used to also pump out basements and in NSW we do all sorts of storm damage mitigation. Beats the heck out of hanging around the station!

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