Rescue teams undergo animal rescue training

Posted at: 07/31/2014 6:41 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

When flooding occurs, each and every second can count.

Flash Flooding can create some serious emergencies. In which people and their pets sometimes end up in need of help. And at times- they need to be rescued.    

Rain upstream can get water raging and once that happens people and their pets can end up stuck on an island- literally.

So training for such scenarios can mean the difference between surviving- or not.

"Water is always pushing against you so it's a little easier if you just- ok I'm going to angle myself a slightly downstream," said Kim Little.

Corrales, Rio Rancho and Sandoval County Fire and Rescue teams held specialized training all week. In the event they would need to perform a large animal rescue, because things can change in the blink of an eye this time of year according to Commander Tanya Lattin of the Corrales Fire Department.

"We do have to worry- it's clear and pretty here and you're out riding and the next thing you know you can't cross the river or you're stuck on a sand bar," said Lattin.

Kim Little from Montana has been training rescue teams since 1981. He says New Mexico and the Rio Grande are perfect classrooms.

"It's mostly the hydrology and dynamics- and if you don't understand those- it's real easy to think I can just go across right here," said Little.

He says sometimes the hardest thing is to convince people they actually need rescuing.

"We see that with all animals and pets, dogs, cats, horses, goats, llamas- whatever it may be. And at that time their biggest concern is for that animal," said Little.

The Corrales Horse and Mule People are the ones who initiated the training. They even bought a harness for the small Corrales Fire Department. Everyone hopes they never need to put the training to use, but they’re glad to be trained just in case.