By Jamie Leary

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The Loveland Fire Department trains every year for large animal rescues. It’s a very unique field to train in but it’s necessary in rural areas.

(credit: Loveland Fire Department)

“There’s been a number of large animal rescues over the years since we’ve started doing this,” said Robert Carmosino, Captain of Fire Station 2.

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The rescue of a horse stuck in the ice on Jan. 29 was a new situation for many involved in the rescue.

“I’ve never seen that before,” said Carmosino.

(credit: CBS)

Patch, a 25-year-old painted horse, wandered from her pasture onto a frozen pond near South County Road 9E in Loveland early in the morning.

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Patch lost her footing and continued to fall. Eventually she ran out of energy to get up. It took dozens of firefighters and first responders working together to bring Patch to safety.

Loveland Fire has special tools for large animal rescues, but with the horse laying on her side they had to improvise with a wildland fire hose. They were able to wrap the hose around her and pull her safely to the shore.

(credit: Loveland Fire Department)

“I think that’s what this job is all about. We don’t have the answer to everything but we train for what we do know and when the ‘what if’s’ happen, which is what we had, you’re able to adapt and improvise on that,” said Carmosino.

The horse’s owner says she is beyond grateful to rescuers, which included a veterinarian with JD Leclair Equine waiting at the shore to immediately assess the horse.

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The horse’s owner has had Patch since Patch was 10 months old. Now at 25, Patch is still recovering and a little sore but will be okay.

Jamie Leary