Emergency crews rescue a horse stuck in neck deep watery mud in Adams County. The horse’s owner called 911 at about 10 am Sunday to report that her horse was sinking and becoming fatigued.
An Emergency Work Detail from Fairfield Fire and EMS responded to a farm along Fairfield Road just outside of Fairfield Borough. They found the horse alive but barely able to hold his head up. The owner believes the horse, an 18 year old 1800 pound Percheron-mix, name “Wrangler” became stuck earlier that morning but was unsure of the exact time. The pit was in a swampy area about 20 feet from a farm pond.
A plan was developed and put into action. Two men, Fairfield Fire Deputy Chief Adam Jacobs and his father, past Chief Bill Jacobs worked as an extraction team wearing dry suits and life jackets. They worked to keep the horse’s head above water. Two firefighters Patrick Henry and Brad Hartdagen supported the extraction team assisted with a safety line and getting equipment as requested. The extraction team fitted a 25 foot section of fire hose underneath the horse’s front shoulders. The hose filled with water provide some buoyancy to Wrangler. Next, high pressure air bags were worked into the mud around the horse and slowly inflated and positioned to provide additional buoyancy. The tactics raised the horse out of the water by about 18 inches and broke the suction between the horse and mud.
All while this work was proceeding tactical rescue teams from York County, Frederick County, Md. along with a large tow truck from Lady and Taylor Towing, Cumberland County Animal Rescue, Adams County CAR and two local veterinarians, Drs. Donald Yorlets, and Gary Kubala all responded to the scene.
With the horse partially lifted out the water, a second strap was secured near the horse’s rear legs. The horse was then raised completely out of the mud and lowered onto a plywood platform. Wrangler was able to stand and walk under its own power. It was led away for evaluation by Dr. Yorlets.