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Horse Rescued From Freezing Pool in Belmont

BELMONT – Multiple fire departments responded Monday morning to help save a horse that had fallen into a pool.

Bethesda Volunteer Fire Department Public Information Officer Dick Quinlin said the incident occurred before 10 a.m. Monday at Plainfield Road near Belmont.

“The very severe cold weather and water,” he said. “When we arrived on scene, I didn’t think the poor horse was going to make it because of the hypothermia. It was probably 30 minutes under water. … It had its head up.

“He just tore the cover and went right through it,” he said. “It was an in-ground pool.”

Quinlin said the 26-year-old horse struggled to get out of the pool.

“It finally got up out of the steps of the pool. Of course, it kept sliding. The animal had a will to live. That’s what impressed me so much. That horse struggled one last time and got out,” he said.

“It actually got itself out. We encouraged it, and we were rigging, getting ready to rig a lift,” he added. “We coaxed it and he came out on his own. Then we had to treat him for hypothermia.”

He said after getting out of the pool, the animal walked until circulation was restored. Emergency personnel applied heated blankets and a space heater in the barn to warm the animal. He said the core temperature was close to 94 degrees.

“We were in the barn, taking care of the horse after we got him out,” Quinlin said. “We stayed there for about an hour and a half doing life-preserving treatment for the animal.”

Quinlin said he checked with the horse’s owner later that day and learned the animal was doing well.

Firefighters from Belmont, Bethesda, Morristown and Lafferty responded to the scene.

“Thank God,” he said. “None of our departments have ever dealt with that. We worked together as a great team.”

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