Resources warning as fire brigade calls fall
Firefighters in Tyne and Wear were called out to hundreds of incidents involving stranded animals or stuck objects last year, figures reveal.
Home Office data shows 235 such calls were made to the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in the year to March – 31 fewer than the year before.
They included 88 calls to help animals who found themselves in trouble and 147 calls to remove objects from people.
Overall, Tyne and Wear firefighters attended 15,166 incidents in 2020-21 – including 6,544 fires – down from 16,781 the year before and prior to the pandemic.
They included 2,473 non-fire related incidents, including flooding, freeing people trapped in lifts and road traffic accidents.
Nationally, the number of times firefighters were drafted in to help animals increased from 4,724 to 5,159 over the year.
The number of people requiring help with stuck objects also increased nationally from 5,311 to 5,632 – with two thirds of incidents involving someone needing help removing a ring, while trapped limbs accounted for 16% of calls.
The National Fire Chief's Council said a drop in the number of incidents nationally, from 558,000 to 518,000, was to be seen in the context of the restrictions brought in during the pandemic.
Chairman Mark Hardingham said: “Despite the huge amount of positive and proactive work carried out nationally and locally, incidents, and sometimes very serious incidents, do still happen.
"It is of critical importance that we maintain a well-resourced fire and rescue service to respond professionally and safely to national and local emergencies."