"As a fire and rescue service we are regularly called to assist in animal rescue situations."So with a revised 2004 law (Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004) which permits the fire service in Scotland to charge for their services under certain circumstances, notwithstanding it is essentially a tax payer funded public service, they decided to make some money.....Why not under the current budgetary constraints.
The amount of money mentioned in the title is for one hour's attendance at the tree where the cat is stuck! If it takes more than one hour they will charge pro rata, I suppose. No one has mentioned what happens but perhaps they will charge for every subsequent 30 mins with a call out charge of one hour or the full £342. The cost is inclusive of VAT (value added tax).
What do the fire service do where you are? I'd bet they don't charge like this. Can you imagine getting an invoice from the fire service for hundreds of pounds to recover your cat stuck up a tree?
In the long term it will inevitably lead to more cats stuck in trees for longer but they'll come down of their own accord!