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Horse Rescue in Sun Valley

Monday, May 30, 2005 |

On Monday, May 30, 2005 at 09:41 a.m. PDT, nine companies of Los Angeles firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS District Captain, one LAFD Helicopter, one LAFD Heavy Rescue, and two Urban Search and Rescue units, all under the direction of Battalion Commander Michael Bowman responded to a Horse Rescue on the horse trails at 11098 West McBroom Street in Sun Valley.

When the dedicated men and women of the LAFD arrived on scene, they found a horse stuck in the mire up to the belly. LAFD contacted Animal Services who immediately responded to the scene and firefighters quickly went to work to affect a rescue, under their guidance.

During the rescue operation a male acquaintance of the horse rider, became briefly pinned by the thrashing horse as he attempted to provide comfort to the equine. The man was extricated, treated on scene, and transported with a possible fracture of the left ankle, to Kaiser Hospital.

After several attempts, utilizing a harness, rescue ropes, and manpower, the horse was eventually freed from the confining mud in just one hour and forty-eight minutes. Following the successful effort of the firefighters, the horse was carefully rinsed off and a veterinarian was summoned to the scene to examine the horse for injury. The horse, named Lacy, is reported to be in good condition.


Anonymous said...


LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

The Los Angeles Fire Department does not have staff photographers to respond to such incidents.

When time permits, we may consider linking to photographs already placed on-line by private parties and news sources. As an agency however, we do not posess images, and therefore cannot post pictures directly to our web log.

We hope this information helps.

Ken Hilving said...

Applying air below the horse's hoof should help break the suction of the mud. A simple length of flex tube with a tire valve fitting and a hand pump would suffice. Of course, there is still a need to move the horse to solid footing. Have you tried any "portable roads" for mud rescues?

An inflatable such as a guest bed or truck tire inner tubes might be of use to keep the horse from sinking back into the mud until a portable road could be set in place. These would be placed under the belly.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Mr. Hilving:

Thanks for the note and suggestion. While not an every day occurence, horse rescues are common enough for us to offer periodic news advisories that are syndicated within the equestrian community.

While many rescue techniques have come about due to personal ingenuity (and suggestions just like yours!), we must rightfully defer to our colleagues in the Animal Services sector before implementing something we might think helpful but ultimately harmful to horses. I think you understand.

As such, we hope you might contact and establish dialogue with both the DART personnel at the City's Department of Animal Services, as well as the staff at LAFD's Battalion 12 office, which oversees and coordinates most of our equine rescues.

Again, thanks for sharing what may prove to be yet another important tool in our safely resolving horse rescue incidents.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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