Cannock Chase Country Park in Staffordshire is a favorite spot for walkers and hikers. But the 3,000 acre park features rough terrain that is largely inaccessible by normal road vehicles. This made responding to emergency calls difficult. Until now.
Starting next month the park will feature England’s very first horse ambulance.
Mark Bennett and his 7-year old gelding, Chase, will ride to the rescue of emergency callers because they will be able to reach them faster than an ambulance and more easily than the motorbikes previously used.
Bennett was interviewed by the Daily Mail where he said:
‘I think having a horse on the team is a great idea. It might sound crazy but this horse could really save lives.
‘People get into all sorts of trouble in the park – mountain bikers, runners and walkers can all get injured and it’s not always easy for ambulances to get to them quickly.
‘But the horse is great at navigating the terrain and from within the park Chase and I can get to any area within quarter of an hour.
‘An ambulance would take much longer to get there – especially when they have to meet up with rangers to unlock gates for them.’
‘It really could be life-saving. If someone was having a heart-attack, the difference of ten or fifteen minutes could be the difference between life and death.’
Bennett said he would be able to give the injured person first aid and that Chase would be fully kitted out with a responder bag and defibrillator.
‘Everything that we might need to keep someone alive is on that horse,’ he said.
‘Chase carries oxygen, a mask and valve to help someone breathe, kit for airway management assistance, bandages, splints and space blankets.
‘It’s incredible to think that a horse could save someone’s life but in this case it’s true – Chase is a vital member of the team.
‘He’s such a sweet-natured horse. He acts as a guide horse at Cannock Chase Country Park, which means he leads around the other horses who are giving tourists rides.
‘He’s very switched on and very fast when he needs to be – the ideal horse to have around in an emergency.’
My only question is how Chase and Bennett will bring injured parties out of the park. How is Chase when ridden double?