By Tom LaBelle
There were quite a few articles floating around the web and on this site regarding rescuing cats from trees. To say there were some opinions on the issue is a bit of an understatement.
But as is usual with the fire service, we tend to see things in black and white, and to see them with, well, let’s call it enthusiasm.
The discussion got my mind churning, as these things often do, to the deeper question of why we do what we do? I won’t delve into what I believe the right answer is when it comes to cat rescues.
However, how we reach these conclusions and the impact of policy decisions on safety intrigues me.
The ‘why’ question
If you asked the newest of recruits on my department what we do, they will (or at least had better) answer in some form that we protect lives and property. If they’re really awake they might even prioritize with our lives, their lives, their property our property.
How we apply that axiom in the field, however, is how we move from the black-and-white world of opinion to the gray world of operational, and perhaps strategic, decision making.
I have never owned a dog or a cat. And although some might consider that some a moral or character flaw, it is the least of my many flaws.
I have no idea how much a cat costs, how much veterinary bills are or how much a variety of items like food and cat carriers cost. But I know people who love their cats and spend a fair amount of money on them.
Although money isn’t necessarily the indicator of something’s true value; you can say that the owner of a cat would consider the life of that cat worth protecting. And even if we just consider the cat to be property, the owner would likely consider it property worth protecting.
And, aren’t we in the business of protecting life and property?
Read the full article on FireRescue1.com.