A cat with a penchant for climbing trees was the first call for the Barnegat Fire Company's newest fire truck in the fleet.
On Dec.13, the call came into the Barnegat Volunteer Fire Co, Station 11 and Firefighters Ed Buckley and Ed O'Harra deployed with the town's new 105' ladder truck.
The cat was stuck in the tree for more than 24 hours, fire officials said. When local animal rescue officials were unable to coax it out of the tree, they called Chief Mike Moore of Station 11 to request assistance. The entire rescue took less than 15 minutes and the cat was reunited with its Burr Street owners.
Fire company President Gary Brown told Patch, "We hope that is the most serious rescue that we ever have to perform with this truck, however, it is a great piece of equipment to have in our fleet in the event that something more serious ever occurs in Barnegat."
Firefighters in Barnegat have been training with deploying the new ladder in several locations throughout Barnegat including the Edwards School - with the cooperation of the school Superintendent Karen Wood.
Additionally, Barnegat firefighters trained with the new truck at the Toms River Fire Academy in live fire exercises and rescues from two- and three-story windows in smoke conditions, Brown said.
"Since taking receipt of the truck, our firefighters having been training many hours with new truck, including flowing water for firefighting, deploying the ladder in different scenarios, and just practicing driving through different areas through town that have limited access," Brown said. "Our goal is to always be ready when any type of incident occurs and the new truck just enhances the firefighting and rescue capabilities of our fire company."