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Thursday, June 20, 2013

TIC Assists in Rescue of Trapped Cat

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

A Fort Washington family recently looked to firefighters at their nearby station to help them rescue their dog that was trapped in a deep hole beneath a fallen tree.  One week later on Wednesday evening, another Fort Washington resident was anguished over not being able to locate her cat.  Having nowhere else to turn, the homeowner called the Fort Washington Fire/EMS Station 847 and explained her dilemma.  The cat had somehow made its way into a basement wall and could not find its way out.  Despite hearing the cat’s meows, the homeowner could not pinpoint its exact location.


Arriving at the single-family home in the 13300 block of Fort Washington Road, firefighters explained they would have to leave if an emergency call was dispatched.  They promised her they would return later.  Fortunately, no calls were received, allowing them to rapidly complete this humanitarian mission.

Firefighters brought in a Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC)—a handheld device that detects areas of heat.  The camera can be used in smoke and darkness and enables firefighters to see through barriers, such as drywall.  When radiant heat or body temperature is detected, the camera displays images. When the TIC was pointed in the area where the meows were heard the loudest, a slight heat spot was displayed on the camera.  With the homeowner’s permission, a small portion of the wall was removed; and the cat was quickly rescued.  The animal, which appeared uninjured, was reunited with its grateful owner. 

While in the home, firefighters also checked the smoke alarm and found it was not working.  They provided a fresh battery and ensured the device was operating properly prior to leaving. 

The crew on this incident included Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Anthony McCormick, Fire Technician Michael Bell, Fire Fighter John Oliver, Fire Fighter Lauren Foreman, Fire Fighter/Medic Gilbert James and Fire Fighter/Medic John Bowman.  Interestingly, one of these crew members and his family were recently named Volunteer Family of the Year, for being foster care providers to cats and orphaned kittens.  

Sorry, no pictures or names on this rescue at the request of the homeowner.

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