May 29, 2017

Cat stays stuck in tree over the weekend

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 10:12 pm


Last Friday in Winschoten, Groningen a cat got stuck up a tree and only got down today.

Since the local emergency services didn’t want to burden the fire brigade, a local man decided to climb up the tree to get the cat down. And then he got stuck 15 metres up the tree.

The fire brigade then decided to help the man down with some equipment, while the cat was all the way up the tree. To try and get the cat down, fire firefighters sprayed 500 litres of water up the tree, but to no avail – the cat was stubborn and staying put.

At some point a firefighter in a wet suit went up the tree while other firefighters sprayed water and grabbed the cat with a blanket to finally get it down.

(Link:, Photo (non lolcat version): arttherapyblog)

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June 21, 2016

Fire truck again too big for station

Filed under: Automobiles,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:03 pm

In Flevoland in 2013 a fire brigade bought 14 new trucks, five of which didn’t fit in their fire stations.

It has happened again, this time in Almen, Gelderland, but with a tanker, which is five centimeters too high and one metre too long for the fire station, a 40-year-old station that is due to be either replaced or renovated. It’s odd that fire brigades don’t talk to each other about a problem I am sure has happened before more often than the press has reported.

I guess it’s one way to get a new fire house or renovate the current one. Maybe that’s the idea.


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September 15, 2014

Man steals piece of royal carriage, owns up 50 years later

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 10:02 am

golden-carriage-zoetnetIn 1955 fireman Cor Priele and two colleagues had to guard the Golden Carriage which was on display in Rotterdam at the time.

Guard duty must have been boring. The firemen, Poot, Smaal and Priele, started using the royal carriage as a room to sit in and even to play tag around. That’s where things went south. Priele’s boot got caught behind the royal bench and a golden string broke off.

The three guards decided not to tell anyone because it would mean they would get fired on the spot. “I was very, very scared”, the former fireman from Sleeuwijk, Noord-Brabant told Omroep Brabant. He took the string home and kept it in an empty jam jar.

But this year, 50 years after the heinous deed and with both of his colleagues deceased, 83-year-old Priele decided to make amends. He wrote King Willem-Alexander a letter explaining what happened and offered both his apologies and the return of the royal, golden string.

The Golden Carriage was built in 1898 by the Spyker brothers (even before they started making motor cars) as a gift from the citizens of Amsterdam to Queen Wilhelmina on the occasion of her ascension to the Dutch throne. Citizens of Amsterdam chipped in 25 cents each.

It is as yet unknown whether the King has taken Priele up on his offer or not.

(Photo by Zoetnet, some rights reserved)

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January 21, 2013

Fireman saves 65 coffee containers by putting foot in ship’s leak

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 9:18 am

Last Friday a diver of the Schoonhoven fire department saved millions of Dutch people a few jittery hours when he put his foot against the wall of a ship carrying coffee to stop water from flowing in.

The captain of the river boat Salamanca had noticed on Thursday evening that his boat, which was moored to the quay, was suddenly deeper in the water, Schuttevaer reports. When the fire brigade arrived the engine room was already flooded by a metre. The boat was moved to another location where fire trucks could get near it.

The hole turned out to measure about 5 by 2 centimetres. One of the divers who had entered the engine room to place the suction tube plugged the hole temporarily by placing his foot on it.

The Salamanca was transporting 65 containers filled with coffee. It is unknown how the boat sprung a leak.

The Dutch are among the most enthusiastic coffee drinkers in the world, consuming 8.4 kilograms per person a year. Only the Scandinavians drink more.

(Photo by Vitaly Volkov, some rights reserved)

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January 9, 2013

Fire brigades buy trucks that are too big for stations

Filed under: Automobiles,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:30 am

The fire brigades of the province of Flevoland have purchased 14 new trucks, five of which do not actually fit in the intended fire stations. The vehicles are just too high, and the decision-makers knew that in advance, but still wanted 14 shiny new trucks so the region would all have the same trucks.

The municipality of Noordoostpolder where the five trucks don’t fit has to modify their fire stations, which will cost hundreds of thousands of euro.

Do the decision-makers have friends in the contracting business for the rebuilding of fire stations? Possibly. Couldn’t they have chosen another type of truck? Possibly. Maybe the fire stations are too old-fashioned anyways so what’s the problem? Possibly. Was money saved by buying 14 trucks at once? Possibly. Was the PR on this decision well-spun in the media? Not really.


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December 18, 2012

Firemen’s almanach fans the flame of sexism

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:32 pm

Many fire brigades just sent this firemen’s (and firewomen’s) almanach back, calling it distasteful. The head of regional safety for Rotterdam-Rijnmond said even though tastes differ this was inappropriate for their line of work and understands why people would send it back.

A firewoman also wondered if the people who designed the cover knew that women were firefighters in this country, expressing her disgust.

The cover is fugly, poorly photographed (smartphone?), the girl is badly styled to say the very least without sounding like a misogynist, it’s not representative of this unique and dangerous line of work, and looks more like an advert for a low budget strip club. It’s not a Pirelli calendar with hot models, it’s trash and belongs in a bonfire.

(Link:, Photo: bliub9)

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November 26, 2008

Cat up a tree? Fork out the money

Filed under: Animals,General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:20 am
Cat up a tree

Any cat in the small town of De Marne, Groningen that dares climb up a tree in the future will costs their owner a fistful of euro. Ask the friendly, local voluntary fire brigade to fetch kitty kat for you and they will charge you somewhere between 350 to 500 euro. I wonder what the difference in price entails. Tree height? Time? Cat cuteness?

Tjerk Elzinga, the local fire brigade commander says, “providing a service is something that is not part of our legal tasks. (…) There are companies specialised in that sort of thing and it would lead to unfair competition.” Either this man is enlightened and the rest of the country’s volunteer fire brigades should follow suit or he’s really, really annoyed with not having any fires to put out.

Local residents are divided on the issue, but everyone thinks 350 to 500 euro is a helluvalot to ask for a cat up a tree. The idea is that small, non life-threating situations like rescuing cats costs the fire brigade money, so they feel someone else should pay for it.

Dutch entrepreneurship in times of recession or just plain weird, you decide.

(Link:, Photo (non lolcat version): arttherapyblog)

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