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The fire chief called the firefighter’s response “sarcastic”. Others might say the firefighter was just being honest.
We’d have to go back many decades to find out who was the first firefighter to say, “You’ve never seen any cat skeletons in a tree, have you?” While it’s become a somewhat standard response to those who want the fire department to help get a cat out of a tree, it recently landed with a big thud in Dudley, Massachusetts. A firefighter who gave that response, along with reminding the caller that a cat has nine lives, now has a reprimand in his file.
The young daughter of the woman who called the fire department posted on Facebook (see below) that the firefighter was “extremely rude” on the phone. Dudley Fire Chief Dean Kochanowski said his department is getting “blitzed” thanks to that post.
“It’s not something we’re equipped to do,” he told selectmen. “Our equipment is specifically for fighting fires in dwellings and things of that nature.”
“I will say,” he continued, “that the person who took the call didn’t handle the call correctly, and I will apologize to the public for that. That person has been spoken to and disciplined and told to act in a professional manner when dealing with the public, and not be sarcastic.”
The cat, which had been in the tree for at least two days, has since gotten down. But its whereabouts are not known. The chief said he believes it was a feral cat.