Do Firefighters Rescue Cats From Trees?

Speak to any firefighter and you’ll know that one of the most common questions they get asked, is if they’ve ever rescued a cat from a tree or from the top of a telegraph pole.

It’s a long-running joke that firefighters do this but is it something they actually do?

The answer is that it actually depends.

There are 53 different fire and rescue services spread across the UK and each of those have their own different set of circumstances and rules on if they’ll attend or not. In all circumstances, they advise not to ring 999 for such a situation but to call the RSPCA instead.

The RSPCA will provide advice to the caller and if they feel the situation deems necessary for a fire service to respond, they will contact a fire service directly to see if they’ll be able to assist.

The fire service will then weigh up the situation and see if they deem it necessary to mobilise a fire appliance to attend.

West Midlands Fire Service states that “We don’t usually attend cats up trees. Most of the time they aren’t stuck, they could be scared or just enjoying the view!” – They also go on to state “The fire service will NOT attend cats up trees unless the RSPCA officer is there and they request our assistance formally through our control room.”

There is some debate on if fire services should attend calls involving animal rescues, especially when budget cuts are being made. It’s not cheap for a fire service to respond to such calls.

That being said, there is a real risk for members of the public to take matters into their own hands to help rescue an animal, which could result in a much worse scenario with someone getting hurt. Prevention is just as important as being reactive.

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