AN ANIMAL rescue team is celebrating its first year helping trapped cows, sheep and even a plastic horse.
Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Services Large Animal Rescue Unit responds to calls across the county to help animals trapped or lost underground.
In their first year the team have come to the aid of around 30 animals, including a cow stuck in mud, a horse trapped in a well, a foal stuck in a trench and a sheep stuck in a river.
Station commander Roland Bayley said: “Throughout the year, the animal rescue instructors have continued to train with the crews at different locations around the county.
“This would not have been possible without the support from local farmers, stables and veterinaries, who allow our firefighters to work with their animals to learn more about the different types and breeds of animals they may come across.”
The team practice their dramatic rescues using a plastic horse they have nicknamed ‘Siren’.
Roland said: “He has been a valuable training aid and has found himself in many a ditch and river around Rugby, which has caused a lot of interest for passers-by. No one ever expects to see a full size plastic horse being rescued by firefighters.”
To help carry out their rescues, the team are now awaiting the arrival of a new large animal rescue vehicle, complete with specialist rescuing equipment.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue to find out more.