Leave rescue of trapped cats and dogs to trained fire crews in Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire fire-fighters are urging members of the public not to put their own lives on the line by trying to rescue animals that have become trapped.
The county’s fire and rescue service now has six stations with a total of 65 specially-trained personnel, who can save animals without risking life and limb.
Critics argue that helping animals is a time-wasting exercise for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, which should focus on saving human life.
But firefighters know that if they did not attempt to save them, members of the public would – risking injury and even death.
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Chris Lowe, from the Urban Search and Rescue team, says: “By its very nature, mounting any rescue is dangerous and requires specialist skills. If a person or an animal has fallen in the position of needing to be rescued, then the situation is already hazardous. Anyone who enters that situation unprepared and inexperienced will only make the situation worse and more difficult for us to deal with – as well as jeopardise their own life. Please leave it to the experts.”
Mr Lowe urges dogwalkers to use extra precaution during wintry conditions, when animals falling through ice-covered lakes and rivers is an all-too-common event:
“Our advice is to either avoid these areas or at least keep the dog on a lead at all times."
In 2011, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue responded to 62 incidents involving animals ranging from cats and dogs to horses and deer.
And in a rural county like Lincolnshire, where animals can be livelihoods as well as much-loved pets, the service’s efforts are crucial.
The fire and rescue service says if you see an animal in extreme danger don’t attempt to rescue it yourself - call 999.