On the evening of Nov. 17, the fire department received a call that a cat was stuck 70 feet up a tree on the Bench and advised the pet owner to wait for it to come down.
But when the feline didn’t move the next morning, members of the fire department were called to the scene to help with the rescue.
“The cat was fairly young, a couple of years old and a male… that’s the second time he’s been stuck in a tree, I believe,” says deputy fire chief Christopher England. “It can be an expensive apparatus [to do a rescue], but it’s good to do a little bit of community service to help out and do some training at the same time.”
On Facebook’s group Terrace Community Bulletin Board, a user initially made the post asking for help and received dozens of suggestions from other users, like putting down tuna at the bottom of the tree and calling in notable climbers from the area.
Some had noted the fire department could be of help and the post has since been updated to show gratitude for the crew coming out to save the cat with pictures of the rescue operation. The entire rescue session took less than an hour.
Last year, the Thornhill Fire Department purchased an impressive ladder truck that can extend up to 105 feet with special controls but England says not everyone on their team has had the chance to operate it.
Generally, firefighters don’t do animal rescue calls as it’s not a priority task for them and it can delay them in case a real emergency call does come through. Calling other private companies with similar equipment could also be pricey, so England says he’s glad this worked out for both sides.
“We don’t do it all the time, but if there’s a chance to do a training opportunity with the ladder, then absolutely,” he says.