MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
It is well known that pet owners and well intentioned citizens will risk life and limb to rescue an animal in distress. We get it, Prince George's County Firefighter/Medics understand the emotional attachments of pets and owners as most of us are pet owners ourselves. We also understand the philosophy of risk versus benefit, meaning, we will risk a lot to save a lot. That is why we will run into burning houses to save trapped human occupants. Is the risk worth the benefit??
Firefighters saving pets is a decision based solely on the predicament the animal has gotten itself into and what are the risks of trying to rescue the animal. Often times it is a difficult and challenging decision for a Fire/EMS officer and at times decisions are simpler. Firefighters are not required to rescue pets in precarious predicaments, however, will take on the challenge because we have the equipment and are trained well in the use of said equipment. We would rather perform the task ourselves rather than allowing the owner or Good Samaritan to attempt the rescue and risk injury or worse.
This morning, the proverbial cat in the tree call. What's a firefighter to do when you arrive on location to find an emotional situation of a beloved cat high up into a tree with cries of distress and an anxious owner pleading for assistance?? If firefighters did not extend the ladder high into the tree and assist in removing the cat than the well intentioned and ill-equipped owner may have.
Firefighters from Laurel and Beltsville Fire/EMS Stations arrived at a home in the 12800 block of North Point Lane in Laurel and assessed the situation. The firefighters and their apparatus remained available for emergency calls and would have left in an instant should a call be dispatched. Seeing no hazards in or around the large tree a ladder was securely positioned with a firefighter climbing up about 30-feet to the level of the distressed feline. The firefighter cradled the cat and down the ladder they went. The uninjured cat was soon reunited with the grateful owner.
It is reasonable to believe that the cat would eventually come down from the tree. It may take a day or two but cats do find their way down. It's not always for the pet that we perform these acts; it's for their human owners. Yes, the Fire/EMS Department rescued a cat out of a tree, however, we also prevented injury or worse and relieved stress and anxiety to humans while doing so.
Photo credit to PGFD.