Buffalo Grove firefighters rescue cat from island
BY RONNIE WACHTER email@example.com | @RonnieWachter October 1, 2013 4:20AM
Buffalo Grove firefighter Mark Anderson wades through a stormwater retention basin on Sept. 26, searching for Pennie, a cat lost somewhere on the island in front of him. (Courtesy Buffalo Grove Fire Department)
Updated: November 2, 2013 6:12AM
Last week, Buffalo Grove firefighters subjected themselves to the ultimate cornball firefighter cliche: Rescuing a cat.
But their tale is superior to the standard rescue from a tree — this cat was stranded on an island Sept. 26 near the intersection of McHenry and Buffalo Grove roads.
After a family reported that their cat had gotten herself stuck on the island in the stormwater retention basin behind a West Fox Hill Drive home, the Buffalo Grove Fire Department used the emergency call for water-rescue training.
Pennie, a 7-year-old tuxedo house cat who the family adopted four years ago from Orphans of the Storm, had just returned from an afternoon with a groomer. The cat’s carrier popped open before the owner got inside.
“And the chase was on,” said John Gilleran, a Buffalo Grove fire lieutenant.
After Pennie swam to the small island in the center of the pond, her owners called for help.
“In order to keep the family from risking harm, Battalion Chief (Shawn) Collins choose to rescue the cat and use the situation as a training opportunity,” Gilleran explained. “Firefighter/paramedic Mark Anderson and firefighter/paramedic Dennis Quill donned cold water immersion suits and went to get the cat. They were able to walk through the pond to the island.
“The cat, however, did not want to be caught and entered the water again and swam to the other side,” he added.
Fire Engine 26, Ambulance 26, Tower 25 and the battalion chief’s vehicle all responded to the call, though Gilleran noted that they were ready to leave if a more pressing matter popped up.
They were able to contain Pennie on the island and return her to her family.