Being a firefighter, it is your job to respond to people in distress. People are in need for either themselves, loved ones or even their pets. We always want to help them with the best possible service and experience we have to offer. The problem is, we need to understand our boundaries. Especially when it comes to a situation when it isn’t a person in trouble but an animal.
Don’t get me wrong, I would do anything to help save my dogs, cat or even goose and duck (yes, I have a goose and duck!) from any life threatening situation they might get themselves into. The problem is people will do anything, including risking their own lives for their pets. As a fire department rolling up on scene, firefighters really have to stay smart, analyze the situation and decide if it is worth the risk of their lives to attempt rescue.
These type of calls, remember to always confirm that law enforcement is responding with you. The pet owner sometimes will think the fire department isn’t doing enough or is taking to long to set up their rescue. Causing them to attempt their own rescue. Have law enforcement to be their to watch the person and keep them calm. Hate to say it, but law enforcement is also their if the animal is in too bad of shape and needs to be taken out of its misery. As well to help back you in court if the decision is to not rescue the animal because its chance of survival is not present. The owner will always see it differently and we know how people today are sue happy.
As a firefighter we truly want to save a life whenever possible. I just want to remind everyone out their to be smart about it. Their is a difference between saving a human being compared to an animal. If you think the scene of saving an animal/pet is too risky than don’t do it. Be prepared to say no and keep others from risking their lives.
Saying no can be harder than you think. Pet owners and bystanders will be upset and think of you as a terrible person. Stand behind your decision. Far easier to lose a pet than have to tell your fellow fire fighters significant other, that they deceased on the job over an animal rescue. Be prepared to disappoint someone in these situations, It can be hard on you. Than again, if you are a parent you probably have plenty of experience saying no!