PENRYN (CBS13) – Veterinarians and firefighters from Placer and Sacramento counties took part in an exercise to help rescue livestock and large animals more efficiently and effectively.
It was a unique drill Thursday that allowed close to 50 rescuers to use their individual strengths to free a life-size mannequin horse.
In one simulation the horse was trapped in a crash and another, the horse was stuck on an island during a flood.
“This job can be fairly dangerous just because of the large animals we work with,” said Dr. Diana Stolba, co-owner of Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center.
It lets them learn each other’s value.
“If they hadn’t have been here we would’ve been here for three hours trying to figure out the police system. They set it up in three minutes,” said Dr. Dustin Major, with the medical center.
It also showed them how to work together.
“I knew the semantics of moving horse, but what I didn’t understand was the importance of communication between all the agencies and what they had to bring,” said Stolba.
Officials said these type of rescues only happen about a half-dozen times a year, but more emergency calls arise during natural disasters.
“Especially with all the fires and everything that we’ve been having, forced to evacuate and you have accidents that come as a result of people trying to evacuate quickly,” said Major.
The goal is to make mistakes now instead of slipping up in real life emergencies.
“We want to make sure that everybody communicates together and that everybody is safe,” Stolba said.
Metro Fire Captain Mike Slone with the Heavy Rescue Task Force said they’ve rescued animals before, but having the veterinarian assistance made it better for everyone.
“The tough thing about them is that you never know what’s going to happen. So when you get called to these types of calls, you were in a situation where you have to look at the things that you’re at. That’s why it’s important to have a class like this or a group of people that are trained the same way,” Slone said.
The Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center is now putting together a team that can be called out and immediately respond to animal rescue scenes.