For this special edition of Hay There we caught up with Dr Gemma Pearson, Director…
Equine Incidents Awareness Course
On the 16th and 17th of January The Horse Trust welcomed Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service who ran an Equine Incidents Awareness Course for the team here at The Trust.
The course helped to provide our team with more knowledge and awareness of how to deal with minor incidents that could occur at The Horse Trust on a daily basis. These incidents could vary from a horse becoming cast in the stable to one becoming recumbent and unable to stand independently. The course was carried out by crew managers Gary Crone and Chris Aust part of the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and also Animal Rescue Level 3 instructors.
The Oxfordshire team are based at Kidlington in Oxfordshire and have been carrying out nationally accredited animal rescue techniques for over 9 years and have a crew that are available 24/7. The crew are also trained to attend incidents involving swift water rescue, rescue from heights and various other rescue situations. Over the years they have attended incidents involving all types of horses, from ponies and foals to thoroughbreds and shire horses.
The training mainly consisted of the instructors demonstrating to the team a number of different skids and lifts including a trailer extraction and then giving the team time to practise under their supervision.
All the techniques that were demonstrated were all based on equine minor incidents that may occur on a day to day basis at The Horse Trust where we have specialist equipment and knowledge to deal with these or make the scene safe ready for the Fire and Rescue Service. Anything more severe is a job for the specialist Animal Rescue team as our team are not a large animal rescue team. However with our specialist skills acquired through working with the emergency services and our unique herd of horses ranging from the very large Police horses to severely neglected welfare cases we want to give them the best chance possible if an emergency incident was ever to happen. Even if this means getting the scene prepared and a vet called whilst the animal rescue team are on their way.
We do not suggest or endorse a horse owner try to extract or rescue their own horse or pony as this would put them and the horse at risk. The Animal Rescue teams have specialist training in order to safely rescue horses in the most ethical and humane way possible.
It was beneficial for the whole team to expand our understanding of how the Fire and Rescue plan and prepare for animal related incidents and how they are carried out based on the individual rescue and the roles of each firefighter. This insight feeds into the training we deliver to the emergency services and also helps us to prepare for any potential incident at The Horse Trust.
The Horse Trust has a partnership with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service as one of our local brigades. They annually attend for refresher training on horse behaviour, body language and handling to improve their skills in incidents involving horses this is run by the Knowledge and Skills team.
Testimonials from The Horse Trust Team
Angela Andrews (Head Groom) – ‘It was a very helpful day. It was great and interesting to see different techniques used for various scenarios’
Libby Surman (Training Officer) – ‘As the newest member of the Knowledge and Skills team it was really useful to learn and understand the role of the animal rescue teams which will greatly assist me in the future when delivering training to these audiences. The training was very interactive with knowledgeable instructors, and it was brilliant to have a go to improve understanding’