On Saturday, December 29, members of the Pawling Fire Department were called to assist in the rescue of a horse that became trapped in mud near a lake in Patterson. PFD officials arrived on the scene to aid in the effort that ultimately saved the animal’s life.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. multiple fire departments were called to Wonder Lake State Park in Patterson with reports of a horse being stuck in hip-deep mud in a swampy area. The animal, a 24-year-old horse named Tucker, was beginning to show the early signs of hypothermia. The effort represented the third time that the Patterson Fire Department performed a horse rescue in the past four years, and officials were quick to call multiple other organizations for aid.
The call was responded to by veterinarians from the New England Equine Practice in Patterson, the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, Town of Patterson Ambulance, the Westchester County Technical Rescue Team, and the fire departments from Carmel, Putnam Lake, and Pawling.
“We were called by Patterson to provide assistance with our Gator and manpower,” said Pawling Fire Chief Everett White. “We had six guys on scene for approximately an hour and a half.”
The rescue effort took roughly three hours, with fire personnel using a combination of off-road vehicles, ropes, backboards, and plywood to extract the hypothermic animal from the mud. Following the successful rescue, the horse was transported to the New England Equine Practice for treatment, and is reportedly recovering well following the ordeal.
The rescue effort successfully showed the level of communication and cooperation among local fire companies, as the Pawling Fire Department demonstrated a willingness to help another company in need. “We’re always at the ready to assist a neighboring department,” said PFD Deputy Chief Chris Greene.