Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Milton team rescues trapped horse.

Milton and Forsyth County fire crews managed to free a trapped horse from a muddy creek bed June 11. The horse was unharmed.

Forsyth, Milton free horse from ditch. Jonathan Copsey; The Milton Herald

June 17, 2014 FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – Milton's horse rescue team was called out Wednesday, June 11 to help a stuck horse in Forsyth County.

The four-member crew was called to an area near Stablegate Court in Forsyth County after a report of a horse stuck in a muddy ditch.

A 28-year-old horse had fallen into a creek bed and, due to heavy rains, had become trapped in the mud. This only became worse when a tree branch fell on the animal. Milton Fire Battalion Chief Bill Bourn said the horse may have been stuck overnight.

"He had possibly lain there all night trying to get up and was physically exhausted," Bourn said. "And it was so muddy, he couldn't get his legs under him to stand up."

Firefighters from Milton and Forsyth County placed a harness around the animal and dragged him out of the mud 15 feet to the street, where he could get his footing.

"He was able to stand up on his own after that," Bourn said.

All told, it took about 30 minutes of work.

While many fire departments are trained in large animal rescue, Milton is one of the few departments in the region with equipment capable of helping horses and other large animals out of tight spaces.

Called "Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue," or TLAER, the prevalence of horses in Milton convinced the fire department to invest in horse rescue equipment.

Bourn said the TLAER crew could go months without a call and then get two in two days, but rain is a common factor.

"It presents more of a possibility for a horse to get in a predicament," he said.

Milton has a mutual aid agreement with surrounding cities to respond if they wish to such incidents.

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