Sep 19 2013 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Ormskirk Advertiser
West Lancashire Firemen rescue hundreds of creatures
DUCKLINGS, hedgehogs and sheep have all been rescued across West Lancashire by our hard-working firefighters.
The Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service do much more than put out fires, with the team called out to nearly 800 incidents involving animals across Lancashire since 2009.
The force has worked tirelessly to release trapped dogs, free birds stuck in chimneys and come to the aid of ponies who find themselves in a tight spot.
One of the heart-warming rescues in West Lancashire took place earlier this year when, in April, a pony was spooked by passing traffic and jolted, throwing the two passengers off the trap it was pulling in Tarleton.
The frightened pony ended up in the canal and one of the passengers had to wade into the water to keep the pony’s head above water before fire crews were able to pull the pony to safety. Firefighters also saved the lives of eight tiny ducklings that had fallen down a cattle grid in Parbold on May 14, 2011, as well as freeing a Collared Dove that had a fishing line wrapped around its leg and was caught on a TV aerial on the roof of a bungalow in May last year.
The team have been called out to 45 incidents in West Lancs since 2009 and have sometimes had to cut the animals free.
In February this year, firefighters cut away a partition bar in a horsebox in Aughton after a distressed horse had become trapped and they used a combi-tool to free a dog’s paw that had become stuck in a greenhouse in Tarleton in February, 2011.
Perhaps one of the most well-known fire rescue clichés couldn't escape the Lancashire team when they were called out to rescue a cat from a height in December, 2010.
The frightened feline had become stuck on a roof in Ormskirk, but as soon as firefighters arrived it came down of its own accord.
A Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Lancashire has a predominantly rural community and consequently firefighters regularly turn their skills to an array of different rescues involving pets, livestock and wild animals.
“The larger species more commonly rescued are horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and deer that find themselves trapped in machinery, bogs, slurry pits, rivers, pools, ditches or victims of cliff falls and road incidents.
“To help us train to deal with such incidents, we have a horse mannequin that firefighters practise on to ensure that there is a safer environment for both the animal and the firefighters.”