Firefighter trained in snake-handling put skills to use in rescue

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MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A firefighter put his reptile-handling experience to good use when he rescued a 6-foot-long python from a burning home in western Michigan.

Muskegon firefighter Scott Hemmelsbach tells The Muskegon Chronicle ( ) he reluctantly agreed to enter the two-story, smoke-filled house Sunday night to retrieve the snake. He says he cradled the “weighty” snake before carrying it to safety.

Hemmelsbach says the snake was trying to get out of its terrarium when he grabbed it.

The firefighter learned how to handle snakes at Grand Haven High School, where he helped showcase them to elementary students. Of the rescue, he says he “would do it for any creature” and that he’s glad there was a happy ending.

The fire significantly damaged the home, and the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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1 Comment

  • ɪ ☺ ʏᴏᴜ

    Trained in snake handling? You don’t need training to pick up a snake- it didn’t take any training when I went down to PetSmart at only 15 years old and held my first python before bringing her home. (She’s been a great pet ever since too. Very well worth it.) He simply held a snake at a high school reptile presentation. But I guess that’s good too, since those are great programs that educate people who may have never even seen a snake.
    Kudos to Hemmelsbach for his great deed and cudos to the reptile community too!

    I must also note the story should be corrected as that is a Colombian Boa constrictor, not a python, as the two are different snakes.