Hampshire firefighters called out more than 300 times to stranded animals or stuck objects
Firefighters in Hampshire were called out to more than 300 incidents involving stranded animals or stuck objects last year, figures reveal.
Home Office data shows 326 such calls were made to the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in the year to March – 25 fewer than the year before.
They included 114 calls to help animals who found themselves in trouble and 212 callouts to remove objects from people.
Across England the number of times firefighters were drafted in to help animals increased from 4,724 to 5,159 over the year.
The most common reason was to help a trapped pet, which was quoted in a fifth of incidents attended nationally, closely followed by rescuing pets from a height.
Among the calls to Hampshire was one in July last year in which Romie the horse had become trapped in mud in the New Forest.
Animal charity the RSPCA said its staff rescues tens of thousands of stuck or trapped animals every year.
Steve Bennett, deputy chief inspectorate officer, said: ‘While our staff are trained and equipped to help a lot of them out of trouble, there may be some situations where they need a helping hand to ensure both the rescuers and the animals remain safe.
‘We can request the assistance of the fire and rescue service just like any member of the public can do, and we're incredibly grateful to crews across England and Wales who are animal-lovers just like us and will always lend a hand to help an animal in need if they're available.’
The number of people requiring help with stuck objects also increased nationally from 5,311 to 5,632.
Two-thirds of incidents saw someone needing help removing a ring, while trapped limbs accounted for 16 per cent of calls.
Overall, Hampshire firefighters attended 14,488 incidents in 2020-21 – including 3,973 fires – down from 15,310 the year before.
They included 3,581 non-fire related incidents, which may be related to flooding, assisting people trapped in lifts and road traffic accidents.
The National Fire Chief's Council said a drop in the number of incidents nationally, from 558,000 to 518,000, was to be seen in the context of the restrictions brought in during the pandemic.
Chairman Mark Hardingham said: ‘Despite the huge amount of positive and proactive work carried out nationally and locally, incidents, and sometimes very serious incidents, do still happen.
‘It is of critical importance that we maintain a well-resourced fire and rescue service to respond professionally and safely to national and local emergencies.’