Fire Service has £90k animal rescue bill

Fire crews from Lincoln’s stations spent almost £90k rescuing animals from 2009 to May 2011, according to figures obtained by The Lincolnite via a freedom of information (FOI) request.

They were called out to a total of 64 rescues, from the clichéd cat stuck up a tree to saving trapped horses and dogs.

The Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR), which operates across Lincolnshire, is based at Lincoln North station and deals with many animal rescues. The Fire and Rescue team from Lincoln South are also often called out to help the RSPCA with animal rescue incidents.

At a total cost of £3,853.72, the most expensive rescue was of a one tonne horse from a water-filled ditch on February 24, 2009. Twenty-one firefighters attended, in four fire vehicles, for five hours.

Several rescues at £211.63 are the cheapest call outs, including helping a swan back to a river and releasing a dog’s paw from a broken staircase.

One incident required the use of an inflatable boat to save a dog stranded on an island.

Mary-Bronwen Maggs, Knowledge and Information Manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “As Lincolnshire is a large rural county, firefighters do get called to assist the RSPCA with large animal rescue work that can often involve saving the lives of livestock worth considerable amounts of money.

“We do assist with more unusual incidents, but our response stops members of the public putting their lives at risk where animals are trapped and scared and we use specialist equipment to deal with these situations in the safest possible way.”

Here’s the spreadsheet with all the data:

Image: Curtis Poe