Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Firefighters rescue horse from brook

Faisal Atcha from the large animal rescue unit at Gloucester North with the horse

Firefighters from Gloucester today saved the life of a horse that had got stuck in a brook in Tewkesbury.

Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service received a call at 12.03pm today about a horse that had got in trouble in a brook off Bredon Road.

The large animal rescue team from Gloucester North Fire Station were able to free the mare uninjured using a specialist horse collar. She had become stuck in the brook, separating her from her foal in the field.

Crew Commander and animal rescue specialist, Michael Keel, said: "When we arrived, the mare was upright and calm in the brook. We sent two firefighters in dry suits into the water, with one holding the horse and the other on standby for support if needed."

Faisal leads the horse to safety

"Thankfully, we were able to get the specialist horse collar over her head, remove a small fenced area and lead her calmly to safely. I then checked her over and she was absolutely fine. The specialist training we receive is so important for rescues like this and her owner was extremely grateful for the successful rescue."

The swift water rescue team from Tewkesbury also attended the incident and were on standby in case more crew were needed.

The large animal rescue team was introduced last year when Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service invested in large animal rescue equipment and instructors to ensure that firefighters have the best skills available to protect themselves when handling large animals.

With Gloucestershire being such a rural county, the Service is frequently called out to rescue large animals - the most common being horses, cattle, pigs and sheep who often find themselves trapped in machinery, bogs, rivers, pools, brooks and ditches or victims of road traffic collisions.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "This successful horse rescue demonstrates how important our investment has been in specialist equipment and training both for animal and water rescues."

"This investment has made our already excellent Fire Service even more responsive and efficient, as well as ensuring that firefighters are more able to protect themselves in potentially difficult and dangerous situations."

ENDS

Issued by: Emma Smith, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 07747 898064 email: emmasmithrugby@live.co.uk

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28th September 2013