South Wales becomes the first fire and rescue service in the UK to trial ‘Fire Cats’
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) are the first fire and rescue service in the UK to trial ‘Fire Cats’ to support firefighters at incidents.
The trial will see specially trained cats working alongside firefighters during calls to support with incidents such as animal rescues and rescues at height. Cats are agile animals with incredible reflexes and can jump five times their height, making them the purrrfect partners for crews.
Using their unique range of vocabulary, which includes purrs, ‘meows’, trills, chirrups, growls, yowls, and hisses, Fire Cats will be able to relay critical messages and updates to crews during an incident.
Specialist Feline Instructor, Claude. J. O’King, said:
“I am proud to be on the forefront of this innovative trial. Cats have a number of useful attributes that will be helpful during incidents. For example, a house cat can reach speeds of up to 30mph, making them fast as some Olympic athletes.
They also have superior senses to humans and dogs, especially hearing and sight. They can isolate exact noises, hear higher frequencies of sound and see better in the dark and dim light.
We’re hopeful that our Fire Cat Trainee, Callie, will pass her initial training course and start working with crews in April.”
Callie’s family are proud that she’s able to help make a difference in her community. They say that she’s been an avid climber from a young age and regularly keeps a cat’s eye on mice and birds around the neighbourhood.
At four years old, Callie was invited to take part in the Fire Cats Trial, where she has been working closely with Firefighter Ben Chessell of Pontyclun Station to hone her skills and see if she has what it takes to be a part of #TeamSouthWales.
Once she’s passed her pawbation, we’ll sure to share more about Callie and the Fire Cats Trial.