Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Horse training prepares fire crews for animal rescues

Firefighters will be taught equine etiquette at a Gloucestershire polo club to prepare them for large animal rescues.

The crews, from Cheltenham East and Cheltenham West, will attend a workshop at Longdole Polo Club in Birdlip on Thursday 3rd October from 10am.

The session will teach them how to behave around horses and to understand what to do when they are stressed, while building confidence in staff who haven't been involved in emergencies involving the animals.

In such a rural county, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is often called out to rescue animals such as horses and cattle which have become trapped in ditches, on fences or in machinery.

These incidents and others like them are so common that, last year, a large animal rescue team was introduced to the county in line with the service's integrated risk management plan - which meant investment in large animal rescue equipment and instructors to ensure that firefighters have the best skills available to protect themselves.

The training on Thursday is for those firefighters who aren't otherwise trained to handle large animal rescues, but who will benefit from the knowledge.

There will be three Parelli instructors present to assist with the training.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "This is a great opportunity for our firefighters to be given a better understanding of horses and to be better prepared in times of large animal rescues, for their own protection as much as anything else."

"Every second counts in any rescue situation and if fire crews are able to quickly calm down the horse and behave in a way that doesn't alarm the animal, there is a much greater chance of a successful calKeith Coles, Gloucestershire County Council media team, 01452 425391l-out."

Issued by Keith Coles, Gloucestershire County Council media team, 01452 425391

ENDS

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2nd October 2013