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San Bernardino County Fire expands services to include Large Animal Rescue Team

HESPERIA, Calif. ( — San Bernardino County Fire has expanded its rescue services to include a Large Animal Rescue Team.

The team is based out of Fire Station 305 in Hesperia which currently houses an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) unit.

Urban Search and Rescue teams respond to events such as earthquakes and other incidents that cause widespread damage to a variety of structures and entrap hundreds or thousands of people.

Other examples of USAR events can range from mass transportation accidents with multiple victims to single-site events such as a trench cave-in or permit-required confined space rescue and swift water rescue.

County Fire’s USAR team has recently deployed for two weeks during the unprecedented storms in our local mountains. Crews provided structural triage, shoring, and rescue operations in the affected areas.

The new equipment and trailer are vital for rescuing large animals where conventional fire & rescue tools are unable to assist. Specialized tools, harnesses, and equipment will allow firefighter to safely rescues horses, cows, or other large livestock.

A 400-pound realistic horse prop is used to safely facilitate training. The horse is realistic in size and can be manipulated at joints to make realistic rescue scenarios.

The team can be activated throughout County Fire’s jurisdiction and neighboring agencies as well. USAR personnel this week have been providing in service training to area crews to familiarize our firefighters with the new equipment.

The Large Animal Rescue Team has already been activated to the community of Muscoy in March, where they reached 17 large animals stuck in deep mud. Besides the large animals, crews rescued 30 medium-sized animals.

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