Specialist training for animal rescues

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have four specially-trained animal rescue units strategically placed in the county. Neil Woodmansey, technical rescue manager, explains:

“Five years ago this kind of training wasn’t available and now we have four specialist stations around the county and train others from all over the UK at our site in Waddington, Lincoln.

“We respond as separate units so we are not holding up regular crews and we are really proud of what we have achieved so far.

“Our specialist crews extract animals in a professional and structured way – making it quicker and much less stressful for the animals.

“We work alongside the RSPCA, local vets and other organisations and will respond to any animal in distress as we believe that if we don’t help, a member of the public will and could be injured in doing so.

“Our training centre looks almost like a film set with several pits which can be filled with water and plastic horses to train with.

“We train our staff to deal with all the potential dangers of such rescues, particularity those involving large animals.

“I recall an incident a few years ago where our teams helped to rescue a cow from a river in the Boston area. This was before the specialist training and we didn’t fully understand the hazards back then. It took three hours to get that cow out – but thankfully it all went well.”

l The nearest specially-trained crews to Boston are situated at Spalding, the others being in Louth, Corby Glen and Lincoln.