FIREFIGHTERS worked with Dumfries and Galloway Community farm ‘Mossburn‘ owner to rescue a pony trapped in mud last night.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 4.37pm on Wednesday, 1 February to the emergency at Mossburn Community Farm, Lockerbie.
An appliance from Lockerbie and a second from Dumfries along with a Heavy Rescue Vehicle from Dumfries were immediately mobilised.
Firefighters consulted with a vet at the scene before moving to extract the animal, named Gypsy, with the assistance of the local farmer.
Gypsy the horse was cold and tired when crews arrived at the scene
The crews used an ice path – or sturdy inflatable walkway – to create a stable working platform as well as a Tirfor – or metal winching device – which is used to pull heavy objects in challenging conditions.
Thereafter firefighters used durable canvas strops to secure the 661lb horse, allowing it to be pulled 10 metres by the farmer’s tractor to a place of safety.
The animal was then transferred to the care of the vet and its owner.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ensured the area was safe before leaving the scene at 8.06pm.
Station Manager Colin Wallace oversaw the operation.
Firefighters trained in technical rescue use specialist equipment to free Gypsy
He said: “This was a challenging incident. We had a large animal weighting a considerable amount trapped within mud.
“It was clear the horse was cold and tired but it was placid and well behaved which assisted in this successful extraction.
“We worked in close partnership with the vet and indeed were assisted by a local farmer to bring this to a safe conclusion.
“The crews did an outstanding job by drawing on their large animal rescue training.”
He added: “These are highly technical operations that involve specialist rescue equipment and it is designed to ensure the safety of the animal, the public and our firefighters.
“We assist at these incidents because large animals are important to the economy. We also want to avoid members of the public being placed at risk by trying to effect a rescue.
“It was a very pleasing moment when the horse was extracted and transferred to the care of her owner and the vet.”
The Lockerbie crew are retained firefighters.
The Owner at Mossburn Stated on her facebook page today – Mossburn would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped us last night – our vets, neighbours, and especially the men and women of Dumfries and Galloway fire Service – for their rescue of our pony Gypsy who was stuck up to her chest in mud on Wednesday night. Conditions in the part of the field Gypsy had got stuck in were horrendous and the fire teams were seriously struggling at times, at least two of them having sunk. Gypsy is perfectly fine this morning and was only concerned with getting her tea when she was finally out, which by that point was very late!
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is currently recruiting Retained Duty System firefighters throughout Scotland and anyone interested in providing this vital emergency service is encouraged to apply.
Candidates must be aged 18 years or over, have a good level of physical fitness and the required standard of vision and colour perception.
They also need to live or work within five-to-eight minutes of the fire station.
In return RDS firefighters are paid an annual retainer fee plus additional payments for every incident attended and time spent on all activity including training nights, community engagement and courses.
Anyone interested in applying can get more information by speaking to someone at their local fire station or visiting the official SFRS website: www.firescotland.gov.uk/work-with-us/join-us-as-a-retained-firefighter.aspx