Derbyshire Fire and Rescue officer reunites 92-year-old woman with missing tortoise
and live on Freeview channel 276
CSO Kate McLaughlin, who works within the South Area team at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, first met Ruby Curtis earlier this year when she attended the 92-year-old's home in Newhall.
During the visit, the pair discussed fire safety in the home but also struck up a conversation about Ruby’s two pet tortoises which she had owned for over 30 years – one called Flash Gordon, and the other which the pensioner affectionately referred to as Mrs.
So, when CSO McLaughlin came across a Facebook appeal this week about a lost tortoise which had been found wandering close to Ruby’s home, she knew exactly who the owner had to be.
She then contacted Ruby who confirmed it was indeed Flash who had gone missing, leaving the pensioner heartbroken. However, when CSO McLaughlin got in touch with the vet practice which had shared the Facebook appeal, she was shocked to find out the tortoise had been collected – although she would soon discover this was an honest mistake.
The CSO put on her detective hat and found that another family from Newhall had claimed Flash believing him to be their missing tortoise, but that they were due to return the beloved pet to the vets after realising this was not the case.
Finally, CSO McLaughlin was able to collect Flash from the family and reunite him with Ruby who was overjoyed and very grateful to Kate for going above and beyond what first began as a routine Safe and Well visit.
Community Safety Risk Reduction Manager Kay Simcox said: “CSO McLaughlin demonstrated true care for the community, not just during a Safe and Well visit to discuss fire safety in the home but also outside of this when she went above and beyond her duties.
“In doing so, she was able to reunite Ruby with a beloved pet that clearly meant so much to her.”