Who do you call if a horse gets stuck in a quagmire? Or a calf gets loose and can’t be caught? If you live near Morgantown, Ind., call the Morgantown Fire Department. This volunteer fire department has a team trained and certified to respond in case of large-animal emergencies.
“We thought it was a good idea, and we started it about five years ago,” says Clinton Chapman, fire chief. The words “large animal rescue” are displayed proudly on the rear of some rescue vehicles.
His brother, Clayton Chapman, fire captain, adds, “We normally get one or two calls in a year, and the trained people we have available and our equipment come in handy.”
One time, Clinton recalls, they were called to help corral a cow. The cow was blind, which made it more difficult to capture her.
They carry equipment that aids in capturing large animals, or in helping rescue or free them from an emergency situation. There are companies that build equipment for making such rescues easier and more efficient.
Not all members of the large-animal rescue team are also regular members of the volunteer fire department. Some received training and certification just so they could help in those types of situations, Clinton explains. When they get a call that requires such expertise, all members of the large-animal team are notified.
There is a lot of rolling terrain, plus horses and cattle, in their area, Clinton adds. Having such a specialized rescue team and the equipment to back up the team comes in handy, he concludes.