Firefighters “Ace” rescue: Horse freed from submerged barbed wire

Salem Fire Department members  in the water, slowly approaching Ace with carrots and a calm voice. Photos: Marion County Fire District No. 1

Salem Fire Department members in the water, slowly approaching Ace with carrots and a calm voice. Photos: Marion County Fire District No. 1

Firefighters in Oregon have came to the aid of Ace, trapped in barbed wire and unable to move in a field flooded by a fierce storm.

Ace awaits his rescuers.

Ace awaits his rescuers.

Sunday morning’s rescue ended happily, after firefighters were able to cut away the barbed wire and free the 9-year-old horse, enabling him to be led to firm ground and into the care of his grateful family and two waiting veterinarians.

Fire crews with Marion County Fire District No. 1 answered the call to the Juniper Court property of Robert Alexander Jr, where they found Ace about 100 feet out in the semi-flooded field, with water depth of about 4 feet.

Ace’s legs were caught in a barbed wire fence and he was unable to move or free himself.

A bystander was attempting to free him without success and had to retreat from the water.

An ambulance was called as the would-be rescuer was suffering from possible hypothermia.

Ace had no shortage of rescuers, with two engine companies, one medic, one grass unit, two chief officers, and the Salem Fire Department Water Rescue Team arriving at the scene.

His rescue took about an hour.

The two vets at the scene, Dr Hanifen, of Salem-Polk Vet Clinic, and Dr Mike Stewart, of Silver Creek Veterinarian, assessed Ace as having minor injuries.

Back on firm ground.

Back on firm ground.

Alexander expressed his thanks to the fire crews for their quick response to help his horse.

The incident commander, Battalion Chief Patrick Wineman, said safety was crucial in such rescues.

“This incident was able to come to a successful resolution because of our planning and diligent attention to the safety of our responders and the public.

“We are fortunate that we had the support of Salem Fire Department’s water rescue team, our own well-trained firefighters, and a clear plan of operational safety and awareness.”

The fire department said it was timely to remind the public that there were inherent dangers when working alongside large animals in such circumstances.

The public is encouraged to call emergency services to let trained personnel assist in such emergencies.

“Entering the water in these temperatures, with these hazards, is potentially life threatening and should be left to professional responders.”

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