Feline fine during a final job

A recently retired firefighter has shared the almost unbelievable cliché of a final job after 22 years of service – saving a cat from a tree.

Micky Longstaff was based out of Marley Park Community Fire Station since 2001, working across Sunderland and South Tyneside keeping his community safe.

The 50-year-old had decided to hang up his helmet earlier this year but when it finally came down to his last job he couldn’t believe his luck.

His last day shift on the run for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) was on October 15th – and he thought his final job was a prank.

On that afternoon, Micky’s crew were sent to assist a trapped cat who’d been up a tree for two days.

Mickey said, “We were called by the RSPCA who had been trying to get the cat down but were struggling due to how flimsy the tree was.

“When you usually turn up to these sorts of rescues, you’ll pitch your ladder and the cat will quite happily jump down before you even get up there, but this one was different.

“After a quick chat with the RSPCA and a tutorial on how to use their neck loop safely we got to work helping free the cat.

“I was sent up to rescue the moggy in our Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) alongside a new firefighter who’d never used the equipment before.

“Once we were up there I was almost certain the cat was going to jump down, but it didn’t and we managed to manoeuvre it into a carry case and bring it down to safety.

“I used to always get asked ‘do you really rescue cats from trees’ and I thought it was quite fitting that my last job, on my last shift, with some of my closest friends was to rescue a cat from a tree.”

Station Manager for Marley Park, Lee Bell, has today (Tuesday) thanked Micky for his long service and wished him well in the future.

He said “Mick has been a dedicated firefighter over the past 22 years, he sets a wonderful example and will be a big miss on station.

“With it potentially being the last job Micky was going to be attending on behalf of the service, it was only right that he was the one to go up and get the cat.

“It provided everyone with a good laugh and a great memory of an incredible man.

“We can’t always attend every animal rescue around the region but when we can help the littlest amongst us, we will be there.”

Micky has now retired from TWFRS after 22 years, spending most of that time at Marley Park and its previous iteration of Fulwell Station.

He will be a big miss by everyone on the blue watch, especially fellow firefighter Lee Chape who has been on the same watch as Micky since they started their careers.

Thankfully the cat was not harmed during it’s time in the tree and was reunited with its owner immediately.

For more information on the work TWFRS do in the community, please visit the TWFRS website