Leave res­cues to us: Fire­men

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - MEGAN GILLIS

Videos of pet and wildlife res­cues go vi­ral on so­cial me­dia, but they can be dan­ger­ous for would-be heroes, the fire depart­ment warns.

“We strongly en­cour­age an­i­mal lovers to call 911 rather than put them­selves in harm’s way,” Ot­tawa Fire Ser­vices said in a re­lease Tues­day.

“Ven­tur­ing on ice that is un­safe can lead to very dan­ger­ous con­se­quences for the res­cuer. OFS also ad­vo­cates for pre­ven­tion by re­mind­ing pet own­ers to keep their pets on a leash when walk­ing near wa­ter­ways.”

The depart­ment notes that fire­fight­ers oc­ca­sion­ally res­cue an­i­mals – from cats in trees and dogs on ice to trapped wildlife – so that pet own­ers and an­i­mal lovers aren’t hurt.

“Ot­tawa Fire Ser­vices has the tools and equip­ment to re­spond safely,” the depart­ment said. “There­fore, if ever you are in­volved in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion please con­tact us and we will do our best to as­sist.”

The calls are re­sponded to on a re­duced pri­or­ity, with­out lights or sirens, and with crews quickly re­as­signed if there’s a higher-pri­or­ity call nearby.

The fire ser­vice’s cau­tion comes af­ter Good Sa­mar­i­tans went onto a frozen pond in Andrew Hay­den Park Sun­day to res­cue a young loon.

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