Stayton Fire Chief Jay Alley has been with the department for 38 years.

This is part of a weekly series introducing readers to individuals who are passionate about our Mid-Valley community.

In his 39 years with the Stayton Rural Fire District, Jay Alley has not rescued a cat from a tree. He’s rescued many people, and other animals from precarious situations, but not cats from trees.

Alley tells a story of how back in the 1970s – before he joined the department – a firefighter went up a ladder to get a cat out of a tree and fell and broke his neck. He was not paralyzed, but the department’s stance ever since has been that cats will come down when they’re ready.

“I try to tell people that and they’re like, ‘It’s been there for two days,’” Alley said. “Have you ever seen a dead cat in a tree? When it’s ready, it will come down.”



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