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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews in Stornoway have become the first in Scotland to learn specialised skills for rescuing large animals, including horses.

The British Horse Society Scotland (BHSS) were at Lochside Arena early in April, working with SFRS and the University of Glasgow Equine Hospital and Practice to train firefighters on incidents where animals are trapped.

Large animals regularly fall or get stuck in bogs and ditches, or in the cramped quarters of stalls or transport vehicles across the Western Isles.

Fire service watch commander Jane Ogilvie, from the SFRS training facility in Perth, led the training with crews from across Lewis and Harris.

Stornoway SFRS crew commander Donald Morrison, who helped organise the course, said: "This training not only improves our ability to respond to incidents involving large animals but also enhances overall safety for everyone involved."

Looking on during the training were members of the British Horse Society in the islands, who were holding their own training event at the same time.

They said: “BHS Western Isles members enjoyed a demonstration of various scenarios that SFRS are being trained to tackle in response to equestrian incidents.

“It’s great to know our horses are safer because of excellent partnership working between BHS, Glasgow Vet School and SFRS and it was reassuring that the island vets attended along with retained fire fighters.”

The BHSS has now donated animal rescue equipment which will be stored on the Stornoway fire appliance, ready for immediate deployment to incidents involving animals in Lewis and Harris.

The pictures show fire service trainees inside Lochside Arena after completion of the course (SFRS) and the training in progress outside (BHSS).