Maple Ridge firefighters returned twice to a property on Monday to help a downed horse.
Initially, crews raced to a property in the 22900-block of 132 Avenue late Monday morning to help a horse that was stuck in a muddy pasture on the property during heavy rain.
Maple Ridge fire chief Howard Exner said members spent two and a half hours helping the horse before they got it up and walking. It was then led to a barn.
Later that day, they were called to the same property to help the horse again after it collapsed in a stall.
This time, Exner said, crews spent two hours and 45 minutes to get the horse moving again. It then walked to a waiting trailer to be taken to a large animal veterinarian clinic.
Ten firefighters helped in each rescue, noted Exner.
During the rescues, one firefighter was kicked in the shins by the horse, said Exner, but did not need to go to the hospital.
However, Exner is waiting to hear when he will be able to return to work.
Exner said an assist device called a bipod with a “rope mechanical advantage” was used both times to get the horse back on its feet and that a veterinarian was on scene to help.
“We partner with veterinarians for doing these types of calls because rescuing a horse is kind of dangerous, or any large animal, so they need to be controlled by sedation,” said Exner.
He noted that the bipod is the most effective way to lift a large animal, a discipline his department trains in because they do several calls a year for this type of assistance.
They were called to three large animal rescues in 2019 and 2018, as well as five in 2017.
Most such calls involve horses, but also cows and goats.