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Emergency workers to train for large animal rescue

Bent Tree Saddle Club makes donation to get service off the ground


Cherokee County emergency responders trained in large animal rescue help a horse named Chelsea who is unable to stand up on her own. After training this summer, Pickens emergency crews will offer large animal rescue services like the one pictured above.

    What if you owned a horse like Chelsea, who has severe arthritis in one of her knees? The arthritis is so bad Chelsea can’t bend her left leg, which means if she falls down it’s nearly impossible for her to get back up.
     This scenario is one of many that could mean a bad day for people who have large animals like cows or horses. But later this summer, Pickens residents will be able to call 911 and have local emergency workers help them get big animals back on their feet. Thanks to donations from the Bent Tree Saddle Club and the Cherokee County

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    BENT TREE SADDLE CLUB DONATES FOR LARGE ANIMAL RESCUE - The Bent Tree Saddle Club presented Pickens County Fire/EMS Lieutenant Jason Angle with a check that will go towards the purchase of equipment to rescue large animals such as horses or cows.
    Pictured are (l to r) Lieutenant Jason Angle, Bent Tree Saddle Club President Bob Eickenberry, club vice president Kathy Hardin and treasurer Bob Crowl.


Saddle Club - which will cover the majority of rescue equipment costs - between 15-20 of Pickens County emergency responders will be trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue on June 4.
    “There are only two teams in north Georgia that are certified in this type of rescue – Cherokee County and the City of Milton.” said Pickens County Fire/EMS Lieutenant Jason Angle, who will serve as lead instructor for the training class. “This is going to be a good service for the area. I don’t think people would think to call us for help with their animals if they can’t get up or get stuck in mud, but we want to get the word out there. I think a lot of people are maybe of that old school mindset that, if they have an animal down, they get out the tractor and the chain, or end up putting them down.”
    To begin, Pickens emergency teams are easing into large animal rescue by purchasing 30-foot-long straps, a strap guide, head protection for the animals and a Nicopoulos needle, which creates a pocket between the animal and soft ground or mud so they can slide a strap underneath.   Using their new equipment, responders will be able to slide the strap around the animal and pull it off the ground, performing maneuvers like the forward assist and sideways drag.
    In the future, Angle wants to hold a fundraiser to purchase more advanced equipment like a Rescue Glide, a thick piece of plastic that slides under the animal and allows responders to slide the animal around on its side.
    Angle - who also works in Cherokee County fire on the large animal rescue team – said they will limit training to basic rescue at this point.
    “We are not going to train in anything that requires us to lift the animal all the way off the ground,” he said. “You have to go so much further with training and equipment. We will contact Cherokee if we have a situation that requires those more difficult rescues.” 
    There will be a Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue-trained responder on every shift, which means residents can call for assistance anytime of day.
    If you would like to make a donation to go towards the purchase of large animal rescue equipment, you can make checks payable to the Pickens County Government, noting the donation is for large animal rescue.
    Checks can be mailed to 1266 E. Church Street, Jasper. Ga. 30143, Attn: Lee Sanders.