Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Santa Clara County Fire Department firefighter engineer Jeff Brown, left, and Capt. Matthew Maxson display some of the large-animal evacuation equipment they used to help liberate a 16-year-old Arabian horse from a Milpitas drainage ditch on Easter. Their tools include a yellow fire hose, center, which rescuers tied around the horse’s hindquarters.
In the seven years since the Santa Clara County Fire Department’s El Monte Fire Station crew first assembled its cache of large-animal rescue equipment, firefighters have employed it for jobs ranging from extracting a deer from a fence to helping an immobile horse with cancer access medical treatment. On Easter, however, firefighters faced their most challenging animal rescue operation to date: liberating an upside-down, 900-pound Arabian mare from a drainage ditch.
“For us to get this horse out alive with just a couple of scratches was truly amazing,” said firefighter engineer Jeff Brown.