The Farmington Hills Fire Department tackles emergencies large and small, and September 22 brought one of the smallest.
Lieutenant Jason Baloga, Inspector Dan Rickard, Battalion Chief Gary Delp, and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Coordinator Jim Etzin responded to a report that afternoon of a kitten trapped in a concrete culvert underneath a residential street near Nine Mile and Farmington Roads. After meeting with a nearby homeowner, they located the newborn feline about 10 feet inside the culvert.
Using a flashlight, a pike pole – typically used to tear down a ceiling during a fire – and a highly adhesive trauma dressing normally applied to a gunshot victim’s chest, Baloga and Rickard fashioned an improvised tool that adhered to the kitten’s body without injury and pulled it to safety. The kitten was then transported in a Fire Department car to the Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Southfield. According to the clinic’s staff, the kitten appeared to be no more than two days old.
“While our focus is obviously providing the best possible fire protection and emergency medical services to the citizens in our community, our firefighters have also rescued countless animals over the years,” Fire Chief Jon Unruh said in a press release. “Many of us are animal lovers and situations like this definitely make everyone involved feel good.”