Cats, otters and cockatiels, oh my! Austin Fire Department responds to 'smoke-alarm' bird and more animal antics
From a smoke-alarm sounding cockatiel to a backstroking otter, the Austin Fire Department has been busy protecting its furriest residents in the past few months.
Here are three heartwarming and heroic animal rescues from AFD's Tuesday Facebook post:
Curiosity got the cat
Molty the cat was rescued from a tree Friday by an Austin firefighter. (AFD/Facebook)
In a rite of passage each firefighter must eventually be brave enough to pull off, AFD rescued an indoor cat named Molty Friday after the kitty's curiosity got her stuck in a neighbor's tree. After she climbed the tree, she quickly "realized her exclusive life indoors had ill-prepared her for such a feat" and spent the next four hours on a "precarious perch." Probationary Firefighter Harley Preston did the dirty work in bringing the scaredy-cat back down.
A backstroking otter
AFD firefighters watch as a backstroking otter perches on their ladder at a retention pond. (AFD/Facebook)
Earlier this month, AFD ran—or swam—into another furry friend as a crew was called to respond to a perilous situation—an otter doing a backstroke in a retention pond at the J.J. Pickle Research Center in North Austin. The crew promptly sent out a ladder to the otter, which it rested on for a few minutes before swimming away. Texas Parks and Wildlife, which has reported an increase in river otter populations across Texas, eventually secured the otter and moved him to a more appropriate location.
Sunny the "smoke alarm" cockatiel
Sunny the cockatiel saved the day on a south Austin call earlier this month. (AFD/Facebook)
An unexpected hero named Sunny saved the day on a south Austin call earlier this month. After a smoke alarm failed to sound in the early hours of the morning, the cockatiel alerted his owner of smoke from a fire caused by a malfunction on the heating unit. After putting out the fire with dishtowels, the owner called 9-1-1 and was thanked for his heroics by AFD officers.
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After a sluggish start and first-half red card, Austin FC beat the odds with ten men to beat CF Montréal 1-0 Saturday night.
Even with Dani Pereira's fateful red card and a resulting one-man deficit on the pitch, the Verde and Black won in its first MLS match in three weeks thanks to a former Montreal striker—Austin FC's Maxi Urruti—who scored against his old teammates in the 67th minute to win the match.
The club remains at third in the MLS West as it nears the halfway point on its second season.
Here are three takeaways from the match:
One too many tackles
i just wanted to apologize to everyone, got to be more responsible than that and not let the team down the way i did again, i apologize to the fans, teammates, coaching staff and everyone that’s part of this organization🖤💚— Daniel Pereira (@danipereira121) June 19, 2022
Fans breathed a sigh of relief—and surprise—when Pereira was first spotted on the CF Montreal pitch for his first match on international soil. The 21-year-old starter arrived from Venezuela as an asylum seeker when he was 15 and has been unable to play in games outside of the U.S. since.
But for the second time in two months, Pereira was forced to the bench as his wayward tackle earned a red card before the end of the first half. With ten men left on the pitch, Austin FC was left with no Pereira, 11 opponents and an entire half left of play.
In a tweet, Pereira apologized to fans after the match as the team celebrated its victory. The game marks the first win in a red card match in Austin FC's history.
An Urruti goal
Austin FC took its furthest road trip to date as it ended its hiatus with the Montreal match, and the visitors seemed to still be shaking off the three-week-old dust in the first half of the match. And while Montreal racked up higher possession, shots on goal and more across the stat board, Urruti's second-half goal sealed the deal for the unlikely Austin victors.
Urruti, who spent time with Montreal for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, tapped a big Jon Gallagher pass over his former team's goalie in the 67th minute to secure the win. Urruti has scored five goals this season and is behind just Sebastian Driussi as the team's top goalscorer.
Stuver's key saves
Austin FC's unlikely win could've ended much differently without the usual heroics from keeper Brad Stuver.
While Stuver hasn't had to make the same rapid-fire saves as last season, he's still proved crucial in Austin's closest games. Such was the case when the keeper made a cheeky last-minute grab for the ball while sitting on the ground to keep Montreal's Kei Kamara from scoring in the first half.
Stuver made two other saves in the match to complete his fourth clean sheet of the season.
BONUS: Fagundez's near-miss
Building momentum. 😤 pic.twitter.com/wXMHSF8xgz— Austin FC (@AustinFC) June 19, 2022
Midfielder Diego Fagundez's enemy isn't always his opponents.
Fagundez attempt at Austin's first goal was stymied by the post as his shot ricocheted back to Montreal in the 58th minute of play.
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The pilot of a small plane is now in the hospital after crashing into Lady Bird Lake Thursday afternoon.
The plane, which was being operated by a Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden, only had the pilot in it when it crashed just west of I-35 in the lake around 2 p.m. Nearby paddleboarders are seen taking the unidentified pilot to Austin-Travis County EMS in a video.
The pilot was then transported to Dell Seton Medical Center with potentially serious injuries.
UPDATE: #ATCEMSSPARTAN drone video showing the aircraft submerged just below the surface. pic.twitter.com/wexI9MqpQS
— ATCEMS (@ATCEMS) June 16, 2022
Texas Parks and Wildlife said the plane, a 2009 Cessna T206, was on a test flight after routine maintenance when the pilot reported mechanical issues and then crashed.
As of Thursday afternoon, it is not known when the plane will be removed from Lady Bird Lake.
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