More stuck animals and rings from fingers removed than before

Cows and a horse rescued by Suffolk Fire and Rescue over the last year.

Cows and a horse rescued by Suffolk Fire and Rescue over the last year. - Credit: Suffolk Fire and Rescue

Stranded animals and stuck objects are being reported to firefighters in Suffolk at a higher rate than in previous years.

Home Office data shows 151 such calls were made to the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service in the year to March – 29 more than the year before.

They included 98 calls to help animals who found themselves in trouble and 53 callouts to remove objects from people.

Area manager Greg Keys, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “On average our crews are called to around 80 to 90 emergencies involving animals each year, and have specialist training to deal with these incidents.

"We often work closely with the RSPCA, animal charities and vets to do the best for the animal’s welfare.

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“Crews have the knowledge how to handle animals, particularly those that may become agitated when they’re distressed.

"In the case of pets, it’s a skill of our firefighters to build a relationship with the pet owners, who are often upset at seeing their loved one trapped or in danger."

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Across England the number of times firefighters were drafted in to help animals increased from 4,724 to 5,159 over the year.

Incidents recorded from March have so far involved a cow being lassoed back to shore in Great Cornard, a Muntjac deer stuck in the River Orwell, a young gull rescued from netting in Ipswich town centre and a horse stuck in a ditch in Sudbury.

The objects mostly removed from people were rings from fingers, Suffolk Fire and Rescue added and may have gone up due to people turning from hospitals to other emergency departments during the pandemic. 

A spokesman for the service, run by Suffolk County Council, added: "Nearly all these incidents are to remove rings from people’s fingers. Many people travel to a fire station for help, otherwise we are usually called to care homes or hospitals to assist with our specialist cutting equipment."

One of these call-outs was following a man receiving a puncture wound to his finger.

In total reports to Suffolk Fire and Rescue have increased with statistics showing that firefighters attended more incidents in the year ending March 2021, 5,309, than in the previous 12 months, 5,107. 

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