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Arizona firefighters rescue horse after it falls into ditch

Gilbert horse rescue.png
Posted at 12:58 PM, Nov 18, 2021

GILBERT, Ariz. — On Wednesday, rescue crews in Arizona had to bring in the heavy machinery to pull a horse out of a ditch.

It's no surprise to see horses in Gilbert, but when you visit one trapped in a ditch -- that's a different story.

Gilbert Fire and Rescue worked Friday to pull "Fish" out of harm's way. No, not a fish that lives in water — "Fish" is the horse's name.

"In the beginning, he was excited and worked up by being in the ditch. But, he wore himself out a little bit,” said Gilbert Firefighter Tom Krupinski.

Krupinski is widely known as "Cowboy Tom." He and about ten others rushed to help rescue Fish.

Deputy Chief Mark Justus says Fish and another horse were running around outside their owner's yard. The other horse stopped. Fish did not.

"As he came to a stop, he was going into the ditch. The owner said, when he saw it, the horse just rolled into it," said Deputy Chief Justus.

With the help of a vet and nearby construction crew, the first-responders took only 32 minutes to rescue Fish.

"The vet was able to sedate the horse, hook up some straps, pull him up calmly, wake him back up, and all was good,” said Krupinski.

As most people know, it takes skill to ride a horse and even more craft to rescue one. As for Cowboy Tom?

"It's just, figures out what resources you have and make the best of any situation. Sometimes the outcome is not as good as you want. You do everything you can to protect the animal,” added Krupinski.

In the end, Fish was injury-free. Rescuers kept one thing in mind to help make sure they were safe.

"Pretty much, stay out of their way. They are big powerful animals that can hurt you. So, you don't want to be in their way where they can do that,” added Krupinski.

Venton Blandin at KNXV first reported this story.