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CART Coordinator:Ed Childers

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IN THE NEWS: Washington CART acknowledged for horse rescue. See the article below from the Washington County Community Foundation Newsletter.

Saving Danny

June 12, 2017 | By Dorothy Tecklenburg          


Danny didn't have much time. The water was rising on the sinkhole he had fallen into and if he did not get out, he would drown. As the water rushed in, he struggled to climb out, but the crumbling walls would not allow him to escape. If someone could not get Danny out, he could die.

Danny was a horse. You can't just throw a rope to a two thousand-pound horse and tell him to hang on.

Melissa Dyer, one of Danny's owners, was panicked. How on earth could they get her beloved horse to safety? Who do you call? The police? The fire department?

The Avella Fire Department did respond, and pumped water out of the hole, giving Danny precious time. The Fire Department knew who to turn to to rescue a large animal: the Washington County Animal Response Team (WaCART). By the time they arrived on the scene, Danny had been in the hole nearly twenty-four hours.

Located within the North Strabane Fire Department, this local division of a state-wide first responder organization, Pennsylvania State Animal Response team (PaSART), provides equipment, supplies, planning, and training to animal response teams to respond to an emergency or an act of terrorism.

"In emergency situations, we focus on the animals, so other first responders can focus on their jobs," said Ed Childers, coordinator for WaCART.

They came up with a plan. Excavate a larger hole, and create a path into the trench.

Danny's owners, the Dryer family, had the equipment to do the excavation.

"We made a road to pull the horse out," Childers explained.

Danny was pulled out by a 4:1 rope system set up onto the rescue glide. They were able to pull until the horse was out of the trench. Excavating equipment served as the anchor for the pull system, and was used to continue pulling the horse on the rescue glide once he was clear of the trench.

"It took us about four hours to get the horse out," Childers said.

Responders from WaCART, the Avella Fire Department, Washington County Department of Public Safety, and other first responder organizations assisted with the horse's rescue, as well as a volunteer veterinarian.

Melissa Dryer said she was impressed with the team's performance.

"The drive and dedication of the WaCART team was what led to this successful operation," Dryer said. "It truly was impressive

July 11, 2015 Washington CART responds to horse in sink hole. This was a complicated rescue which called upon the skills of our team and other responders from the community. Please click on the following link for pictures and explanation of the rescue.Washington CART Rescue.

July 3, 2015-Washington CART responds to horse in sink hole. Please click on the following link to read an account of a recent horse rescue by Washington CART.


Next Meeting:   

WaCART General Members Meeting :   

Next meeting: 

Next meeting will be March 17th at 9 AM at the North Strabane Fire Department, Station #1.

Please click on the following link for Meeting Minutes:

Washington CART Meeting Minutes - 02-24-18



Large Animal Rescue Training Class Receives Recognition

Washington CART and the Large Animal Rescue Training Class Receives Recgnition
Washington CART and the Large Animal Rescue Training Classes offered by Ed Childers and Paul Williams were recognized in the Large Animal Rescue Newsletter. Below are some photos and narrative that was recently distributed nationally.
Ed Childers has been offering LAR training sessions in North Strabane, PA. for several years.  He’s invited me to audit but until this last class it’s never been convenient for me to get there.  I’m so glad I went!  He puts on a great class, with new and different information.  I learned a lot and met some really nice people!  One thing I hadn’t given much thought to was putting out flares to mark a disabled vehicle or accident.  I carry them, as do most people, but I hadn’t really thought that you can piggyback two flares so that as one burns down the next one will catch.  Ed, and teaching partner, Paul Williams, are entertaining as well as informative.  They combine years of firefighting and horse experience and they’ve been involved in 21 rescues this year alone.  Also helping out were members of the Washington County SART (the “blue shirts”).  When they started in 2009 they had two members.  Now they have 72!  Ed and Paul gave out 50 foot lengths of yellow caution tape for attendees to put in their “go bags” and offered ”horse catching kits” for sale.  The whole crew was most hospitable and made me feel very welcome.  Thanks, everyone.  If you ever have a chance to attend this class, do so!

SAVE YOUR HORSE SEMINAR CAN BE OFFERED AT YOUR LOCATION-The Save Your Horse Seminar described above, and for which Washington CART has received national recognition, can be brought to your location. To learn more about the program, and how to arrange for a local class please click on this link:


Rescue Mat Acquisition 

– Private donation to WaCART

- First Alert Rescue Mat ( will be stored at the

-North Strabane Township Fire Department (Station # 1)

- Rescue Mat will be available for ANIMAL and HUMAN responses

- WaCART members MUST complete Swift Water Training and Ice Rescue Training prior to being deployed on the Mat (contact Ed Childers to discuss the training requirements and training availability).

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