A further education college hosted Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service for several days of livestock rescue training.

The first training of its kind for a decade was hosted by Northumberland College at its Kirkley Hall Campus, using live animals from the college's own zoo and a life-sized model horse contributed by Glasgow University.

The service recreated potential scenarios over the span of two days, with the Kirkley Hall Campus site chosen for its facilities and open spaces.

Northumberland College Campus principal, Lee Lister, said: “I was delighted to see Northumberland Fire and Rescue attend the campus for their bespoke livestock rescue training.

“Our outstanding campus has all the facilities to support professionals from other sectors and industries to learn technical skills in the moving, handling and management of livestock and other animals.

"Collaborative partnerships like this are essential to support local industry in training and refreshing their skills and engaging our students to explore potential career routes.

“This was the first of many sessions supporting teams such as the police and fire service and we look forward to working with them again in the future.

"Thank you also to the brilliant team at Kirkley Hall who facilitated this training."

With the unpredictability of large animals when in stressful situations, the fire and rescue service practiced how to safely rescue such animals.

The crew honed their skills in how to rescue the animals from precarious positions such as from a ditch, or being stuck in a trailer or horse box.

They also learned how to assist old horses that have collapsed.


This type of training has been described as 'vitally important' to be able to carry out animal rescues both effectively and safely.

Keith Cowell, watch manager for training assurance and safety at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This course provides a great opportunity to further Northumberland Fire and Rescue's operational response to Large Animal Rescue Incidents.

“It also offers lasting and valuable partnership collaborations with Northumberland College, Glasgow University, Public Protection Animal Welfare, Scott-Mitchell Vets and local communities and students.”