Prestigious award for Rural Safety Team
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service’s rural safety team have received a prestigious national award
from the British Horse Society.
Watch Manager Tom Brolan and Crew Manager Adam Martin, who lead on the Service’s specialist animal
rescue capability, received a Welfare Award – for extraordinary assistance by others to equine welfare - from
the actor Martin Clunes, President of the British Horse Society, at an awards ceremony at Saddlers’ Hall
in the City of London.
Awards were presented to individuals and organisations who have given outstanding service to the cause of
equestrianism and equine welfare.
Wiltshire FRS started to develop its rural safety team in 2008, with the aim of enhancing both the welfare of
animals and the safety of fire crews in matters involving heavy animal rescue. Specialist animal rescue teams
were trained, based at Stratton and Amesbury fire stations, who can be called to anywhere within the county.
Initial training took place using a mannequin horse funded by the local RSPCA, but few firefighters had any
knowledge of approaching or handling horses under stressful conditions. At this point, WM Brolan approached the
Wiltshire branch of the British Horse Society, and a series of basic ‘horse
handling’ courses evolved.
The citation for the award stated: “It is astonishing to see, from old and recent video footage, how
the teams have progressed in their methods of rescue. Horses and owners in Wiltshire owe a huge debt of gratitude
for this: 38 horse rescues last year and 15 in the first four months of 2011 all dealt with skilfully and
Area Manager Ian Jeary, who manages the rural safety team, said: “We are very honoured that the British
Horse Society has recognised our work in helping horses and their owners. All of the firefighters involved in
specialist animal rescue have benefited from our close links with the Society within Wiltshire, and it is a real
boost to have their hard work applauded in this way.”