New large animal rescue team to be based at Rugby Fire Station

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Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced the name of the horse that it has been using to help train firefighters in large animal rescue.

The service received over 1,000 entrants from schoolchildren across the county with suggestions for the Name the Horse competition with the winner being chosen as Siren.

The winning name was chosen by Phoebe Pond.

The aim of the competition was to raise awareness of the new Large Animal Rescue Team, and to give pupils a broader knowledge of the multi-faceted role of a modern fire fighter.

The new team, to be launched early next year, will be based at Rugby Fire Station.

Station Commander Roly Bayley said: “We have been overwhelmed with the high standards, response and effort that the young people of Warwickshire have put into the competition.

They have really taken this to heart and it has felt like the X factor at times. The Judges on White Watch have had very tough time whittling a thousand down to a few finalists. Our Chief has then had to make the final difficult decision.”

Speaking of the animal rescue team, portfolio holder for community protection, Cllr Les Caborn, said: “Nationally it is recognised that there has been little or no development in training, procedures or equipment over recent years in the arena of Large Animal Rescue.

“As a proactive service we are keen to ensure we are able to resolve such incidents with professionalism and expertise whilst ensuring the welfare of the animal, the safety of the public and our fire fighters. This new team is part of our continued commitment to development and improvement.”

The competition closed in November and the judges have been busy selecting the winners.

The winner and runners up have been invited to Rugby Station to meet the firefighters, look around the appliances and meet the horse.

Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hickmott will carry out the prize giving for each of the finalist and of course the overall winner will be able to give the horse its new name, Siren.

Station Commander Bayley said: “Not only did we have a great response from the young people of Warwickshire but we are very grateful to West Midlands Safari Park, Dudley Zoo, Hatton Country World, Cineworld Cinema, McDonalds, Thorntons Chocolates, The Entertainer Toy Shop, The Big Apple Bowling, B&M and Darlow Rosettes who have all kindly helped to support this project.”