Friday, July 13, 2001
Riderless horse triggers rescue in state park
A riderless horse, returning to its stable after 9:30 at night on June 26, triggered a search response that involved Carlisle Police, the Concord Police dog team, the Carlisle Fire Department and the superintendent of the state park. The search effort was coordinated by Sergeant Leo Crowe and resulted in the successful rescue of a 45-year-old Chelmsford woman who broke her leg when she was thrown from the horse.
Crowe's search was complicated by darkness and the fact that he didn't know where in the state park the woman might be, how severely injured she might be, and what resources might be needed to get her out. On the way to the state park Crowe called for fire department and ambulance assistance and asked for the assistance of Carlisle's Officer Mack. He also called Concord Police to see if their canine unit was available (that request was cancelled when the woman was found) and he contacted state park superintendent Ray Faucher who was able to open the gates the ambulance would need to get through. These people were joined by the Lowell Street resident who knew the injured woman's riding habits and who had reported the incident.
Running and using flashlights, the searchers entered the park. They soon picked up horse's hoofmarks on the trail, and continued to follow the hoofmarks by flashlight, calling for the rider as they went. About a half mile into the park, in the Heartbreak Ridge area, they heard a returning call. After that, there was the matter of getting the ambulance near the site and transporting the injured rider to Emerson Hospital. The first call had come in at 9:34 p.m. and the incident was cleared at 10:23, so that all of this was done within the space of an hour.
Police Chief David Galvin was sufficiently impressed by Crowe's resourcefulness and speed to make his response the subject of an offical commendation.
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