Firefighters in small communities engage in many duties outside what they’re trained for, and Langford is no different.
Every year, for example, Langford Fire Rescue receives numerous requests from the community regarding animal rescues. One of the most challenging for the fire department is the “cat in a tree” call.
Often in such circumstances, says Chief Bob Beckett, the fire department is not in a position to help due to the location of the tree, its height and inaccessibility, not to mention firefighter training does not include climbing trees.
An option many pet owners might not be aware of, Beckett says, is to place a white sheet or towel on the ground, then put a bowl of food and water in the middle so the cat’s focus is on the food. Once hungry enough, the hope is that the cat will make its own way down.
Recently, dispatchers took several calls from residents in a Langford neighbourhood about a cat that had been up a tree for at least three days. After a firefighter met with a resident on site and confirmed the department could not undertake the rescue directly, the idea was floated to contact an arborist to see if they could help.
As it turned out, Mark Logtenburg, manager of Davey Tree Service volunteered to take on the job.
“Mark said that if the animal is up in a tree more than three days, they don’t mind helping out if they are available,” Beckett said, thanking the arborist for his volunteer work.
With the cat brought down safely, the chief and his crew now know they have another weapon in their arsenal to deal with the variety of calls they get over the course of the year.