In 2007 Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out 41 animal rescues throughout Shropshire.
Every animal rescue is unique, which means the procedure and type of equipment used depends on the animal and where they need rescuing from. For example, an animal may become endangered in water, stuck on a roof or trapped underground.
The Rescue Tender is mobilised to most animal rescues and carries canvas slings which are used to hoist and move the animal.
As each incident is unique, firefighters are trained to use the various types of equipment rather than train for a specific rescue incident. This allows them to decide which equipment will be most suitable when attending an animal rescue.
Cow rescued from slurry pit
Dog rescued from underground drain
Cat rescued from beneath Atcham bridge
Scenario: A grazing cow fell through a manhole cover down into a very large bricked chamber used for water drainage.
It was an impossibility to bring the cow back up through the manhole cover, so along with colleagues from the RSPCA and Severn Trent Water, attempts where made utilising a mechanical earth mover to remove the earth bank around the chamber and to remove the brick work to release the cow.
Unfortunately whilst work was being undertaken to remove the bricks the cow became startled, moved back, and fell down into a second deeper chamber.
Eventually, with perseverance the cow was reached. Rescue slings where then placed around the animal and it was lifted out of the chamber utilising the mechanical digger. The grateful farmer took the cow back to his farm where under the supervision of the vet the animal made a full recovery.
The inflatable rescue path is used to help the RSPCA capture a young cygnet that has swallowed fishing line. The line had become stuck in its throat.