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

New sidewalk, bike lane coming to Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Gablecraft Homes making improvements, moving offices

City of Victoria to hold formal safety review after man was left hanging from raised bridge

More and more people seen ignoring safety measurements in place, city staff say

The Trading Post in Langford is up for sale

For sale sign and retirement sign spotted Tuesday

CRD holding off repairing Sooke Potholes viewing area after winter landslide

Area likely to experience continued failure of slope, officials say

Nanaimo man wanted Canada-wide after walking away from Victoria halfway house

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

POLL: Do you use a food delivery app?

With modern life becoming more hectic with each passing day and so… Continue reading

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Most Read