Rescue is ‘owl’ in a day’s work for our Grantham firefighters

Firefighters Kenny McLaughlin and Pete Lake with the rescued owl.

Firefighters Kenny McLaughlin and Pete Lake with the rescued owl.

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FIREFIGHTERS in Grantham showed their caring side when they were called to rescue an unlucky owl - twice.

The twit-twoo crew from Blue Watch in Grantham were called out to a home in Newgate Lane, Londonthorpe last week after reports of an owl having been stuck in the chimney for two days.

Hi-tech equipment was used to locate and free the trapped bird. First, a specialist piece of equipment called a “snake eye” - a small camera used in confined spaces - allowed the firefighters to identify how badly the owl was trapped.

Then crew manager Pete Scarlett used a less hi-tech method to free the bird. He gave instructions to attach a bag to the end of nine chimney rods and slowly push the owl up towards the open air.

Firefighter Pete Lake, positioned outside, confirmed the owl was free and watched as it flew to a nearby tree.

However, the firefighters work didn’t end there as the hapless owl then flew straight into a window and knocked itself out, whereupon it was re-rescued by the firefighters.

The accident-prone owl was taken to a Grantham vet who assessed its condition.

Fortunately, the barm-y owl recovered quickly enough to be safely released the following morning.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said helping free the owl could have prevented a member of the public putting themselves at risk in the name of animal welfare.

The spokesman said: “Lincolnshire is a large rural County and our firefighters get called to assist the RSPCA and members of the public which can involve saving the lives of wildlife and livestock worth considerable amounts of money.

“We also assist with more unusual incidents and small animal rescues.

“Our responses, using specialist equipment and training to deal with these situations, stop members of the public putting their own lives at risk in trying to save trapped and scared animals.”