15 U.K. Firefighters Rush To Squirrel's Rescue

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
File photo

File photo

LONDON (CBS) England is a nation of animal lovers, so that someone called the emergency services in Hertfordshire to report a squirrel stranded on a clump of weeds in the middle of a village pond, is not terribly remarkable.

The response by the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue brigade was, however, a bit nuts.

Amid confusion -- apparently caused by the person who called the emergency dispatcher -- that there might actually be a human being stuck in the pond, an impressive three fire crews were dispatched, including a water rescue unit.

"The first call we received about this indicated that people were in the water. The Fire and Rescue Service was concerned about their safety so sent the necessary crews to assist with what we understood to be a water rescue," a spokesperson for Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service said in a written statement.

Upon reaching the scene, it was quickly determined that 15 firefighters wouldn't be needed to carry out the rescue ... of the small gray rodent.

Two of the three crews headed back to base, but one -- five men with ropes, a grappling hook and a couple ladders -- did stay for about 15 minutes and eventually managed to coax the animal back onto solid ground.

Squirrels can apparently swim, but they aren't terribly adept in the water. After taking the plunge, the sheer sides of the pond left this particular specimen soaked and stranded.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, which runs the Fire and Rescue service, tells CBSNews.com that all the responding officers were already on-duty, so the only additional cost incurred was the fuel used by the three fire engines.

The squirrel, clearly shaken by the adventure and all the attention, scurried away quickly after his rescue, appearing soaked but otherwise unharmed.

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