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Mayer firefighter rides horse to rescue of man with chest pains on Orme Ranch

Firefighter Ryan Trask, loaded with his life support gear, gets ready to ride to the rescue of a man who had chest pains rounding up cattle on Orme Ranch.<br>
Courtesy Photo/Mayer Fire Dept.

Firefighter Ryan Trask, loaded with his life support gear, gets ready to ride to the rescue of a man who had chest pains rounding up cattle on Orme Ranch.<br> Courtesy Photo/Mayer Fire Dept.

Rural fire departments sometimes have to improvise when someone's in need, even if it means going back to the four-legged brand of fire engine.

Mayer Fire Battalion Chief Todd Pascal said the department received a call at 9 a.m. on Aug. 8 that a person on a cattle drive on the Orme Ranch was having chest pains. The patient was in a remote area northwest of the school on the Orme Ranch.

"We were about three miles from them on the road, and they took (firefighter) Ryan Trask and a paramedic EMT's four-wheel drive as close as they could get to the bottom of the ridge where the man was," Pascal said.

The rescuers could get only within about ¾ mile of the patient. One of the riders on the roundup asked if anyone had riding experience, and Trask responded that he used to ride horses and bulls. A horse soon arrived, and Trask gathered his emergency equipment and mounted up.

Two other firefighters hiked up the mountain with a rescue stretcher," Pascal said.

Once rescuers reached the victim, they checked him out and called for a helicopter, which airlifted him to the hospital.

"The last I heard, he was fine," Pascal said.

Trask said he grew up in the Glendale area, where he rodeoed "a bit here and there."

He said it was actually harder to get back out after the rescue than to get in. Firefighters brought their utility truck in and had to winch it out.

Trask said he isn't ready to trade his firefighter boots in for cowboy boots anytime soon.

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