Horse rescue all in a day’s work for Central Saanich firefighters

Many hands make light work was the motto for an equine rescue Thursday (Aug. 4) on the Saanich Peninsula.

Central Saanich firefighters were among those called out around 5:30 pm to help free a horse that had slipped into a steep ditch along Willow Way near Keating Cross Road earlier that afternoon, said Deputy Chief Stacey Lee.

It appeared the horse was being led down the gravel path, got spooked and somehow lost its footing and fell into the mud-filled ditch, he said.

Firefighters got creative with what they had on hand, using an empty fire hose as a sling. A veterinarian volunteering their services got into the ditch to keep the horse calm and help arrange the sling, Lee added.

“We got it under the horse and just pulled until it could get its feet under it,” he said.

A public works crew was also called out and helped create a ramp of sorts to flatten the sharp angle of the ditch and make it easier to pull the horse out. The rescue operation still took the better part of two hours, Lee added.

With a number of people lending assistance, the horse was lifted to safety up on the road, seemingly uninjured.

A similar scenario presented itself last summer when Central Saanich emergency crews helped free a horse that had slipped into a flooded five-foot ditch along Willow Way.


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