Saturday, September 14, 2013
Emergency crews in Sedgwick County have to respond to a wide array of emergencies. Some responders spent their Saturday practicing rescues that require a lot of team work.
First responders and volunteers from across Sedgwick County worked to free a full-sized horse prop from an east Wichita creek as part of a large animal rescue certification exercise.
"It's something we run into on occasion and we're pretty well-equipped to handle it," Sedgwick County Fire Department Capt. Tony Tracy said. "But we learned some new techniques today to make us even better."
Tracy said animal rescues can be complex and slow-going, so it helps to practice and learn those new techniques.
"A lot of times when people try to do it on their own, they'll injure themselves and then we'll wind up having a much more complex rescue," he said.
Trainers from Code 3 Associates Animal Rescue worked with local responders on cattle mud rescues and horse water rescues.
"You just never know what you're going to find them in when you get there, so this is really good education for all of us and it teaches us the safety aspect and how to work with the horse and make them safe as well as ourselves," said Ande Armstrong of Home in the Valley Equine Rescue and Sanctuary.
Armstrong said Sedgwick County residents are lucky to have emergency responders who are well-equipped for and skilled in large animal rescues.
"Call 911 if you have a horse that's in a well, a horse that's fallen into an ice-covered pond or into a hole, a cistern, anything else like that," she said. "We have the resources to help you come rescue that animal."
The training workshop was funded by grants from the ASPCA and the Kansas Animal Response Team.