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County Firefighters rescue horse who fell into 7-foot-deep hole near Barstow

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BARSTOW, Calif. — San Bernardino County Firefighters saved a horse that was stuck in a 7-foot-deep hole near Barstow Friday afternoon. 

At approximately 2:00 pm Friday, December 27, 2019, County Fire responded to reports of a horse trapped in a hole off highway 247 near Slash X. Exact details were not immediately available as crews responded.

Due to the potential for remote access and unclear location the responding battalion chief requested additional resources to assist. This included a specialized asset from the Rancho Cucamonga Fire District equipped and trained in equine rescue.

Sheriffs aviation was requested as well to assist with potential recon.

Early notifications to Los Angeles County Fire and Orange County Fire Authority were also made in the event a helicopter hoist extraction was required. Often times in remote locations a helicopter operation combined with specialized rescue crews on the ground is required for extraction.

Once County firefighters arrived they made contact with the reporting party and found a medium sized horse that was easily accessible for ground resources. It was trapped in a 4×4 hole approximately 7 feet deep.

The horse was extremely agitated in its position which complicated efforts.

(Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County Fire)

A request was made through our dispatch center for a mobile vet to assist with sedating the animal which would assist in the extraction process. Due to the proximity to the home and width of the hole hoist extraction was not possible. With the configuration of the hole itself firefighters developed a plan to dig out a section of dirt adjacent to the hole which was lined with wood. This would allow the horse to exit under its own power.

After a short period of time and digging by crews on scene the horse was safely extracted without any apparent injury. All additional resources were canceled at that point.

(Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County Fire)

County fire responded with one engine company, one heavy rescue, one brush patrol, and one chief officer for a total of 9 personnel. Rancho Cucamonga was initially started with its equine rescue team which consisted of 1 heavy rescue, one engine, and a chief officer.

(Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County Fire)

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