Redwings Horse Sanctuary has loaned a trailer to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service on a permanent basis to help them transport their training horse, named ‘Randy’.
Randy, a palomino model horse who stands at 15hh and weighs 200kg, has been an important Fire Service recruit since 2010. With his fully adjustable articulated joints, Randy is key to training firefighters during simulated horse rescue operations, such as when horses become trapped in hard to reach places like ditches and rivers. He is also vital in helping to raise the profile of the fire service’s rescue work during demonstrations at external events – and now he can arrive in style in his brand-new horse trailer.
NFRS Operational Support Officer Jennie Schamp said: “Randy is the only mannequin we have and we have a number of teams within the service, including Kings Lynn, Thetford, Carrow and Dereham, that need to train with him frequently to keep up their standards. So his regular and safe transportation across the county is incredibly important.”
Perry Smith, NFRS Technical Services Officer said: “The Fire Service receive no statutory funding for our animal rescue work, so when Randy’s former horse trailer fell into disrepair and was deemed no longer useable, we launched an appeal via our Facebook page this summer to see if someone would be kind enough to help us replace it and that’s when Redwings called.”
Redwings Chief Executive Lynn Cutress said: “It’s our pleasure to support the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service by loaning our trailer for both their animal rescue demonstrations and training, and for the safe transportation of their trusty education horse Randy.
“Randy is such an impressive and vital training tool, and as well as loaning our trailer we have also pledged a retirement home at the Sanctuary to Randy should he need it!”
This year, Redwings’ behaviour team have also provided horse handling training courses for various teams in the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.
Perry said: “Hands-on training, with real horses is so valuable for our teams.
“Not only were we able to learn the basics of how to handle horses safely, but we learned how to understand their body language in unpredictable and changing situations to also ensure the safety of our firefighters.”