Spennymoor residents in a flap over pigeon rescue that required two fire engines, nine crew and a policeman

Fire crew at the scene. Pic: Keith Taylor

Fire crew at the scene. Pic: Keith Taylor

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)

TWO fire engines, nine crew and a police car were deployed to a town centre - to rescue three pigeons that were stuck on a roof.

The birds had become tangled in netting on top of a former decorating store in Spennymoor, County Durham, on Monday afternoon.

A passer-by called the RSPCA, but because they couldn't gain access to the shop roof the fire service was called. Crew from the first engine assessed the scene and requested an appliance with specialist equipment to aid the operation.

The aerial ladder platform, also known as a cherry picker, blocked the road and a police car was called to help control the traffic.

Eventually, the firefighters used their bare hands to rescue the birds. Some of the town's residents questioned the response.

Jeweler John Welsh, 63, said: "I was shocked. At first I thought that there was a major fire.

"Two fire engines and a police car? For three pigeons?

"I am an animal lover to a certain degree, but pigeons are actually classed as vermin. Would you rescue a rat?"

Lynette Mackenzie added: "I thought it was a joke. They are only vermin.

"I would have shot them. There weren't as many fire engines here when the pub was on fire."

Neil Savage said: "It was disgraceful for three pigeons. The bus timetables were disrupted and the RSPCA were attending. It must have cost a fortune."

Dominic Brown, a group manager at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said the brigade attended because the RSPCA, which they often work alongside, called for backup as its animal welfare officers could not safely rescue the birds themselves.

Mr Brown said: “We have to take a wide view of an incident like this.

“If we don’t do anything there is a risk that a member of the public will attempt to rescue the birds, which were obviously distressed, without the equipment, awareness or training to do so safely and could end up injured or stuck.

“It might appear we have got everything out for one incident, but those crews were available anyway and if any other call came in they could be deployed.”

The RSPCA confirmed that the pigeons were all "unhurt and released straight away".

Comments (7)

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3:13pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Chloe 123 says...

What a waste of tax payers money! The RSPCA should have used better judgement before calling out the fire brigade for 3 pigeons. They would have probably freed themselves anyway.

The fire brigade have better things to do like cutting people free from car accidents and saving people and animals (not vermin) from house fires.

unbelievable!
What a waste of tax payers money! The RSPCA should have used better judgement before calling out the fire brigade for 3 pigeons. They would have probably freed themselves anyway. The fire brigade have better things to do like cutting people free from car accidents and saving people and animals (not vermin) from house fires. unbelievable! Chloe 123
  • Score: -6

4:08pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Andie68 says...

Chloe 123 wrote:
What a waste of tax payers money! The RSPCA should have used better judgement before calling out the fire brigade for 3 pigeons. They would have probably freed themselves anyway.

The fire brigade have better things to do like cutting people free from car accidents and saving people and animals (not vermin) from house fires.

unbelievable!
Yes they may have better things to do and as the fireman said had another situation arose then they would be deployed straight to it!
Ok 2 engines may have been excessive, but obviously the birds couldn't free themselves that's why they were called out to help, just like if there was a fire, would they wait if they were called out to see if the fire puts itself out, NO!
I can tell by people's comments and from the 'charming' people of Spennymoor that we are a nation of animal lovers, I guess that's why the RSPCA are always so busy then!
And as for the pigeons being vermin and tax payers money being wasted, the money is wasted on the TRUE vermin, the scum who we have to pay for to keep in the luxury of prison, the scum who scrounge from the welfare state, the vermin who attack pensioners and rob them, the wreckless drivers who cause the accidents that the firefighters have to attend....the list is endless
But I suppose shooting the pigeons would have been more fun to watch for some people I suppose, would have brightened up their sad little day.
[quote][p][bold]Chloe 123[/bold] wrote: What a waste of tax payers money! The RSPCA should have used better judgement before calling out the fire brigade for 3 pigeons. They would have probably freed themselves anyway. The fire brigade have better things to do like cutting people free from car accidents and saving people and animals (not vermin) from house fires. unbelievable![/p][/quote]Yes they may have better things to do and as the fireman said had another situation arose then they would be deployed straight to it! Ok 2 engines may have been excessive, but obviously the birds couldn't free themselves that's why they were called out to help, just like if there was a fire, would they wait if they were called out to see if the fire puts itself out, NO! I can tell by people's comments and from the 'charming' people of Spennymoor that we are a nation of animal lovers, I guess that's why the RSPCA are always so busy then! And as for the pigeons being vermin and tax payers money being wasted, the money is wasted on the TRUE vermin, the scum who we have to pay for to keep in the luxury of prison, the scum who scrounge from the welfare state, the vermin who attack pensioners and rob them, the wreckless drivers who cause the accidents that the firefighters have to attend....the list is endless But I suppose shooting the pigeons would have been more fun to watch for some people I suppose, would have brightened up their sad little day. Andie68
  • Score: 7

4:46pm Wed 3 Jul 13

st-george1 says...

Whilst Fire-fighters and the FB Unions are inflaming public fears with hate-filled anti Coalition government lies and their cries of the damning effect of early-days CUTS … these politically motivated pigeon fanciers with lots of time on their hands it seems, who are happy to keep spending taxpayers monies, kind of says it all in my opinion. It’s all part of the socialist cause that is offensive and OUT OF LINE with Public expectation !
Whilst Fire-fighters and the FB Unions are inflaming public fears with hate-filled anti Coalition government lies and their cries of the damning effect of early-days CUTS … these politically motivated pigeon fanciers with lots of time on their hands it seems, who are happy to keep spending taxpayers monies, kind of says it all in my opinion. It’s all part of the socialist cause that is offensive and OUT OF LINE with Public expectation ! st-george1
  • Score: -6

6:01pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Triglet says...

No dout 5 HSE Executives will be in a flap over paper work for the foreseeable future.
No dout 5 HSE Executives will be in a flap over paper work for the foreseeable future. Triglet
  • Score: -2

6:02pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Triglet says...

No dout the HSE Executives will be in a flap over paper work for the foreseeable future.
No dout the HSE Executives will be in a flap over paper work for the foreseeable future. Triglet
  • Score: -2

7:47pm Wed 3 Jul 13

hippyjohn says...

probably freed to be killed by an animal lovers cat
probably freed to be killed by an animal lovers cat hippyjohn
  • Score: -2

9:26pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Andie68 says...

hippyjohn wrote:
probably freed to be killed by an animal lovers cat
Or an idiot with an air rifle who has nothing better to do.
[quote][p][bold]hippyjohn[/bold] wrote: probably freed to be killed by an animal lovers cat[/p][/quote]Or an idiot with an air rifle who has nothing better to do. Andie68
  • Score: 0

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