COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This isn’t your average rescue story. Cohoes firefighters took apart a passenger seat—piece by piece—to save one very lucky cat after he was nearly crushed by steel during a car crash.
“You think you’ve seen everything in 32 years, and something like this happens,” Lieutenant Robert Johnson of the Cohoe Fire Department said.
On January 19, members of the Cohoes Fire Department were dispatched to the intersection of 787 and Ontario Street for a multi-vehicle crash. When the firefighters arrived, they found all human passengers without any injuries. However, there was still a problem. One female passenger told the firefighters her cat was still inside the car and begged them to help.
At first, Lieutenant Johnson wasn’t sure the cat was still alive because he observed a lot of damage to the front of the car
“We went into the vehicle, being careful not to open the doors all the way because we didn’t want the cat running out onto the highway,” Johnson said. “My partner, myself taking different parts of the car and looking around, we couldn’t find a cat.”
They eventually spotted a fluffy tail sticking out from under the passenger seat. Johnson said they tried to pull the cat out, but the crash had trapped him under the seat’s base.
They removed the upholstery from the seat, only to find the little guy pinned under steel. All they could see was his eyes peering out of a small opening. So, the firefighters meticulously took apart the seat—piece by piece—and used power tools to cut the cat loose.
“The cat was pretty relieved. He was also upset, clawing a bit. Luckily the guys had their gear on, and no injuries were reported,” Johnson chuckled. “We reunited the cat with the owner, and both of them were pretty ecstatic to be together.”
Johnson said the whole experience is an excellent reminder to expect the unexpected in his line of work.
“The only thing I can say is this is the best job in the world,” Johnson said. “You know, we never do the same thing twice. It really does keep the job interesting. It’s what’s made me get through my 32 years.”
He added that he hopes these kinds of stories inspire others to pursue service jobs in their community. Every year, during Fire Prevention Week, the Cohoes Fire Department speaks to children at local schools, but Johnson invites any kid with a dream of becoming a firefighter to stop by the firehouse to learn more.