Most of the time, when Lt. Patrick Harn goes out on calls, the people he helps are grateful — and they usually don’t bite him.
But on Saturday afternoon, the Lacey firefighter went out on an unusual call, and he rescued one of Lacey’s smaller residents: a squirrel.
Harn said he responded to the call after some residents reported that a squirrel had gotten caught in their chain-link fence. They weren’t sure what to do, so they called the Fire Department.
The squirrel looked like it had tried to crawl through one of the small, square openings in the fence, Harn said.
“At first I tried to pull it free, but it was wiggling and fighting and biting me,” Harn said.
Harn was wearing a thick pair of gloves, so the squirrel bites didn’t come in contact with his skin.
The residents gave him permission to cut one of the links in the fence, and Harn pulled the animal to safety.
“I pulled him out and he ran right up a tree,” Harn said.
This isn’t the first time Lacey firefighters have taken the time to help small mammals. The department gained national attention in September after firefighters administered oxygen to a family of hamsters following a house fire.
The story was picked up by media outlets nationwide. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials read about the firefighters’ efforts and honored them with an award.