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Bucks firefighters rescue animals nearly once a week

30 incidents were pet rescues

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul with contributions by Local Democracy Reporter Harriet Clugston, Data Reporter at 5:48am 18th March 2020. (Updated at 5:54am 18th March 2020) 3-minute read.

Bucks firefighters rescue animals nearly once a week

Firefighters in Buckinghamshire rescued an animal nearly once a week in 2018-2019. 

New statistics have revealed that Buckinghamshire firefighters rescued 44 animals between 2018 and 2019. 

National Fire Chiefs Council guidance says crews must be equipped to deal with incidents involving animals in peril, to prevent members of the public putting their lives at risk in rescue attempts.

Home Office figures show the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service attended 44 animal assistance callouts in 2018-19

The rescues were among almost 5,000 carried out across England, with crews attending an average of nearly 100 calls every week.

Pet rescues made up the majority of animal assistance callouts in Buckinghamshire, with 30 incidents.

This was followed by livestock, 11 incidents, with the remainder involving wild animals in need.

While fire and rescue services encourage people concerned about an animal's welfare to contact the RSPCA first, to avoid calling crews out unnecessarily, the animal rescue charity says the assistance of firefighters is a vital help to their officers.

A spokeswoman said:

"We work closely with fire and rescue services across England and Wales and are incredibly grateful to them for support helping us rescue animals from tricky situations, as well as carrying out their own animal rescues.

"Unfortunately there are many times where it simply isn't safe for us to rescue animals, such as from heights or if specialist equipment and expertise are required, so collaborative working is vital in these situations to save animals.

"In these circumstances, we will sometimes request the help of firefighters but it's up to them if they attend, and emergencies involving people will always take priority."

Buckinghamshire's firefighters were most commonly needed to free animals who had got themselves wedged in tight spots or entangled, such as in fences or drain covers, with crews attending 16 incidents during the year.

The next most common predicament was animals stuck at height, such as up trees or on roofs, accounting for 12 callouts.

Altogether, in 2018-19 firefighters from the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service attended to:

  • 16 animals trapped or entangled
  • 12 rescues from heights
  • Seven water or mud rescues
  • Four creatures retrieved from below ground
  • Three heavy animals in need of lifting
  • One harmed or injured animal
  • One uncategorised incident
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