Livestock Training For Fire Crews

It's not exactly the cat up a tree scenario, but firefighters are being trained how to deal with animals in need of rescue.

Firefighters from County Durham and Darlington are receiving lessons at the Houghall campus of East Durham College.

The campus, on the outskirts of Durham City, has a farm and runs agricultural courses.

Head of short courses Julie Carmichael said staff were showing firefighters how to handle horses, cows, sheep and pigs.

“This is to help them in their normal duties and shows them how to approach large animals,” she said.

She said that fire crews sometimes had to deal with animals during farm fires and, in recent years, had been called on to rescue animals during flooding.

Brigade operations manager Dave Turnbull said it was important that crews knew how animals behaved under stress.

“They can become quite dangerous.

It is the flight or fight response,” he said.