Mt. Juliet firefighters responded to an unusual rescue call Saturday night.
Assistant fire Chief Jamie Luffman said units responded to a call at 9:15 p.m. around 1995 S. Rutland Road near Rutland Elementary School regarding a cat stuck in a storm drain.
“The message I got read ‘cat is stuck in drain in front of school,’” Luffman said. “It was interesting.”
According to Luffman, Oreo’s owners had been looking for him for two days but were not able to find him. He said after taking their search to the streets, Oreo’s cries were soon heard below road level in the storm water drains.
“I think what happened was that he was able to jump down but just wasn’t able to jump back up,” Luffman said.
That’s when Luffman said the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet got the call.
“Normally something like this would be handled by animal control, but they were off, so in an effort to give good service to the citizens we cowboyed up and took the job,” Luffman said.
Luffman said Capt. Steve Neible, along with Jason Ross, Guy Flowers and Jesse Quintana, all responded to the scene to perform a basic “snatch and grab” to get Oreo out of the drain.
“Where the cat was they weren’t able to access him, but just down from him was somewhere we were,” Luffman said. “So they took water and encouraged him to run to a larger entrance we could access and mitigated him from the shallow end of the storm water drain.”
Luffman said responders weren’t there long, about an hour, but were happy to help out and lend their services.
“We want to give the citizens more bang for their buck,” Luffman said. “Today’s age we don’t just sit around and wait for fires; we work all sorts of things like rescues, Hazmat and things like that. Grabbing a cat out of a drain isn’t something you’ll find in fire 101, but we had a tax-paying citizen with a need, and that’s what firefighters do. We do what the citizens need and a little more.”
Luffman also expressed his appreciation and commended the hard work of the four firefighters who responded to the scene and handled the rescue.
Following the rescue, Oreo was safely reunited with his family.