The term "emergency"leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
Firefighters and EMS personnel receive all kinds of calls for help, from the trivial, to the dire, to the "what the...?"
Last week, Ford County, Kansas Fire and EMS received a one-of-a-kind call for help. Ford County fire chief Rob Boyd said no one knew what to make of the situation.
"We looked at each other and we weren't sure but we said sure let's give it a try."
The call came from Kristin Schmitz. She called the fire department in a panic after discovering that one of her kittens was missing.
"All of a sudden we hear this meow meow meow, and I said it sounds like it's coming from under the floor."
Schmitz then realized that her four-year-old son Braxton had flushed the month-old tabby down the toilet.
Firefighters and plumbers worked for almost two hours to retrieve the tiny kitten from the pipes.
It took the kitten, later (and appropriately) named "Miracle," some time to recover from the ordeal. Fortunately, though, the little tabby is now safe and sound, and relatively unscathed.
"I cried, I thanked them so much because they went way above and beyond," Schmitz said of the firefighters and plumbers.
Boyd reports that the crew is delighted that Miracle is now safe, but issues this warning:
"Whatever the object may be, if it'll go through the hole at the bottom of the toilet it can be flushed, so just keep that in mind."
Miracle's story could have ended much differently. It's a valuable reminder why it's so important for people to educate their children early on about how to treat animals with respect, and to supervise their small children carefully when they're interacting with animals, regardless of the circumstances.