Jennifer Woods

Firefighters take the reins of large animal rescue

If you need to calm a horse down quick, put a bra over its eyes and tampons in its ears.

If you need to calm a horse down quick, put a bra over its eyes and tampons in its ears.

This is just one technique firefighters learned last weekend at the large animal rescue course in Metchosin.

Volunteer firefighters learned to extract horses out of the mud, a fire or a car crash involving a horse trailer in the first large animal rescue course hosted in Metchosin. Fire departments from the south Island were invited.

“We do get various calls involving large animals,” said Metchosin fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop. “I thought it would be very realistic to the area.”

At last weekend’s course, firefighters didn’t strand animals in actual mud, but they did learn harnessing techniques to lead horses out of dangerous situations without injuring the animal or themselves.

If a horse were stuck in a muddy ditch or trapped in a building, it’s more about calming and guiding the animal out, rather than yanking on it’s reigns.

“We would harness him and work with the horse to get him out,” Dunlop said. “We would help to pull while the horse jumps out.”

Although one might be hard pressed to find one in a barn, a nautical life jacket can be placed over a horse’s head to get it out a situation where its head could be injured by surrounding objects.

If a horse is already injured and bleeding “you can use diapers or maxi pads for the wound,” said Jennifer Woods, a livestock handing specialist and the course instructor. “If they are startled the horse won’t be easy to catch, they can freak out at any time.”

Metchosin volunteers have gear, such as portable panels and gates, that can help control large animals in emergency situations, but Dunlop noted that it’s best to have someone on scene familiar with whatever animal is in jeopardy, such as a horse.

“They can watch the horse’s breathing and ear positioning,” Dunlop said, explaining firefighter could then be alerted if a horse could spook or is under distress. “But the flight response is different for each animal.”

 

Just Posted

Number of SD62 kindergarten registrations about same as last year

Approximately 850 kindergarten registrations for 2019/2020 school year

28 years later: Dunahee disappearance remains largest investigation in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

City of Langford mails out information on sewer connection requirement

Plan lays out obligations, exemptions and financial assistance information for the costly hookup

Update: BC Transit driver taken to hospital with serious injuries after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read