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Family thank firefighter who rescued Buttons the pony

From cats stuck up trees to large animal rescues that call for heavy lifting equipment, firefighters don't just save human lives.


Shortly after 3.45pm on Sunday County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) were called to a stable yard on the outskirts of Durham to help rescue adventurous pony, Buttons, after he got more than he bargained for when he jumped into a muddy bog.


Retained Firefighters from Wheatley Hill were first on the scene and, with specialist equipment yet to arrive, Firefighter (FF) Clive Hudson wasted no time getting quite literally stuck in the mud.


Poor Buttons was exhausted from the effort of trying to keep his head above the water, and, after a quick assessment of the situation, FF Hudson manoeuvred himself through the mud until he was in front of the pony.


From there he positioned his knees upright so distressed Buttons could lay down his weary head – no doubt saving the pony – and stroked the pony’s head, in an effort to keep him calm.


FF Hudson was ready and willing to stay in position until the specialist equipment arrived but in a lucky turn of events the pony started to work to free itself from the bog, FF Hudson pulled on his reigns and before long he was free.


FF Hudson said: “It was horrible to see poor Buttons so distressed, he was thrashing around and clearly the effort and panic of all that thrashing was exhausting him.


“I did what needed to be done and didn’t waste time getting into the bog myself to help alleviate his stress and make sure his head stayed above the water. I’m just glad it was a happy ending and poor Buttons was fine in the end!”


Grateful for the firefighter’s quick thinking, Pixie Fletcher, the mother of nine-year-old Buttons’ owner said: “I have no doubt that without the fast thinking and bravery of the fire crew, in particularly Clive Hudson, who jumped into the freezing water with Buttons, that we would have faced a very different outcome.


“A huge heartfelt thanks to Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service – especially horse whisperer Hudson!”


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