Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Firefighter thanked for helping to rescue two kittens

Station Manager Toby Ingham in the Emergency Planning team at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been thanked for his role in helping to rescue two four-week-old kittens that fell down a drain in Waltham Abbey over the weekend.

Toby was called to rescue the two kittens in Galleyhill Road in Waltham Abbey on 30 May after the pair had fallen down a drain into a complex system of pipes across a large area.

Working alongside a local cat rescue, Scratching Post Cat Rescue, Toby used specialist equipment including a thermal imaging camera to establish the exact location of the kittens.

Although they could not reach the kittens using the equipment they had, Toby and the cat rescue team set up a kitten-focussed plan using netting and two small traps with food near the ends of the pipes.

Overnight, the curious cats sniffed out the food and were found safe and well in the traps first thing the next morning.

Susan Lewis Hall from Scratching Post Cat Rescue said: "Toby was amazing and the smile the mummy cat gave when she was reunited with her kittens was lovely. They had crawled a long way and Toby was able to tell us whereabouts they were. It was awful knowing the pipes went all over a large site and all connected they could have gone anywhere, it's a miracle we got them and we'd like to thank Toby for his role in their rescue."

Station Manager Toby Ingham said: "It was a different experience working alongside the Waltham Abbey cat rescuers and it's nice to know that the kittens are safe. Together we formed a response plan that was kitten-focussed and managed to confirm proof-of-life and exact-location by utilising Essex fire equipment. A safe-system-of-work was put in place and happily the kittens managed to find their way out."

The two kittens currently have no names but Susan and her colleagues at Scratching Post Cat Rescue plan to call one Toby.

If your animal gets trapped or you find a trapped animal, please call the RSPCA who will call the Fire Service. Please do not attempt to rescue an animal yourself as you might put yourself in danger too.

Page last updated 3 June, 2021

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