Firefighters were called to reports by the RSPCA of a trapped seagull on Carshalton Ponds, close to North Street in Carshalton SM5 on Saturday 7th April. The Brigade was called to the scene by the RSPCA as an emergency and the Brigade always takes calls from such organisations seriously. Firefighters arrived on the scene at 1407 and the incident was declared over at 1411.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said:
“The RSPCA called us out as an emergency. Our firefighters rushed to the scene only to realise they’d been called out to a seagull with a plastic bag round its leg which was swimming around quite happily and wasn’t in any distress. This clearly wasn’t an emergency so the firefighters left it to a local animal rescue charity to deal with and swiftly left the scene.”
“Often, by the time our firefighters arrive at an incident, someone has waded in to try and rescue an animal only to get into danger themselves, so we send enough crews to deal with whatever we may find. The safety of the public and our firefighters is always our priority.”
Firefighters were not stopped from entering the water due to health and safety protocols. Just this week, LFB crews were called to rescue a man after the bulldozer he was driving fell 40 feet down into a quarry pit. When they realised the man’s life was at risk, the firefighters acted outside of normal procedures and risked their own personal safety to lift him out and save his life. London Fire Brigade’s firefighter are trained to make difficult judgement calls about when it is right to risk their lives in order to save another.