Lake Hemet: Horse & Rider Airlifted to Safety by Riverside’s HART Team
Lake Hemet, CA – A horse and rider were in need of technical rescue when they both slipped off the trail into a steep Canyon above Lake Hemet. Riverside County Sheriffs Aviation Division was in command of the incident and formulated a plan to successfully rescue both horse and rider safely. Riverside’s HART Team was requested to assist providing the technical rescue component, horse expertise, paramedics, veterinary medicine, and legal authority of the animal.
This high risk but low frequency type rescue involved multiple agencies working together to successfully airlift both human and horse to safety. The rider of the horse was placed into a Screamer Suit and lifted to safety by the helicopter hoist. The equine was placed into an Anderson Sling that allowed the 27 y/o colt to be safety flown through the air to the landing zone miles away.
The HART team was formed one year ago after the Riverside Police Department’s Mounted Unit recognized the need for this type of expertise, training, and resources. The team consists of Riverside Police Department, City of Riverside Fire Department Technical Rescue Team, Riverside County Animal Control, and a Veterinarian.
This rescue follows an April, 2016 airlift of two horses outside of Palm Springs.