It seems that London's firefighters have to spend a lot of their time doing things that have got absolutely nothing to do with fighting fires. As well as fending off hoax calls (like the joker who tried to order a Big Mac), they're called out four times a day to rescue children who've managed to get themselves stuck in potties, and now the London Fire Brigade (LFB) has revealed it spends £200,000 every year on rescuing animals.
Between July 2015 and June 2016, London fire crews were called to rescue 542 animals, which has cost the service £202,446. Despite supposedly having nine lives, about half the animals in need of rescuing were cats, costing £102,364. But firefighters also spent £978 saving two hamsters and £1,304 rescuing four squirrels, who'd managed to get trapped in bathrooms, in walls and in boiler units.
The LFB said it costs £326 per hour to fund a fire engine, and that firefighters were called to rescue an animal every 16 hours on average in the last year. London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said that the RSPCA should be the first port of call for animal rescues, y'know, so that the fire brigade can get on with fighting those fires.