Horse rescue leads to fireman's award

A MATLOCK firefighter has been given a Chief Fire Officer's Commendation for his part in the successful rescue of a horse from a disused mine shaft.

Kevin Maguire, from the Matlock team, was involved in the drama in August when a horse looked after by Hargate Hill Equestrian Centre in Glossop fell down a disused mine shaft in a nearby field.

The horse, named Strudel, was trapped at the bottom of the shaft about 40 feet down.

Station Manager Sean Mahony said: "Firefighters from Glossop were mobilised but they quickly realised it was a job for our specialist Rope Rescue Team, who are based at Matlock."

Firefighter Maguire was lowered down to the horse. He said: "The horse had a cut over its eye but didn't appear to be suffering any other injury.

"After using a tranquiliser supplied by the vet, I was able to manoeuvre the horse into an animal harness.

"This first attempt failed to lift and I had to start again this time used the equipment we carry for road traffic collisions which is capable of lifting three tonnes in weight."

It took four hours to bring Strudel to the surface with Firefighter Maguire spending about two hours down the shaft with the animal.

He received his commendation in a surprise visit from the Chief Fire Officer Brian Tregunna.

Mr Tregunna said: "I know the rescue of this horse was made possible by team effort but the work undertaken by Firefighter Maguire was outstanding and I am proud to present this commendation as a token of our appreciation."

Mr Maguire said: "I know the commendation has my name on it, but I feel that it is in recognition of the teamwork from everyone who took part in the successful rescue both from Matlock and Glossop."

Strudel had suffered no ill effects from his ordeal.