Felton Fire Protection District has provided information over the phone to rescuers in the midst of an LAR incident. For phone assistance call the fire station or Chief Rickabaugh at 831-335-4422.


If you are interested in taking a class or setting up a class, the people to contact are are Captain John Fox and Fire fighter Deb Fox at their website Large Animal Rescue.

The Fox's have taught this class in numerous locations throughout California . They have traveled to Utah , Missouri and Oklahoma.

Training for this type of emergency was no where to be found, until now! John and Deb Fox, joined by Greg Malloy and all the Felton fire fighters, have developed a class for Large Animal Rescue. They taught the class for a year or two and found the audience wanting a formal certificate of completion. John, Deb and Greg took on the task of having this class recognized as a Technical Rescue course, approved by the State of California Fire Marshal (SFM). The SFM's office in California uses an acronym FSTEP for their sponsored courses. FSTEP means Fire Service Training and Education Program. The process was not an easy one. The Fox's worked extremely long and tiring hours to gain FSTEP status for this class.


Henry Cowell State Park is located Felton. There are many miles of wonderful horse and hiking trails in this park. One day in 1996, a horse went off one of trails and ended up at the bottom of hill in a place and position from where it could not move. Word spread quickly through the community of horse owners that this horse needed help. Horse owners rallied but lacked the equipment and knowledge to pull off a successful rescue.

Some of the Felton fire fighters own horses. These fire fighters began looking into this incident. They spoke with the owner, those that helped and with the veterinarian. The veterinarian stated that if the horse could have been moved a few feet, to a place where aid could have effectively been given, the horse may have survived. This incident began our journey to establish a Large Animal Rescue team.

In the story above, had the rider of the horse been injured, Felton Fire Protection District would have responded to rescue and provide medical aid to the rider. If fire fighters use rescue techniques designed for humans, with modifications, couldn't fire fighters rescue large animals?

Since the beginning of this mission to provide large animal rescue, Felton Fire Protection District has responded to many large animal rescue incidents. We have responded in our fire district service area and have been a resource to our county and neighboring counties. Felton is averaging 10-12 rescues per year. Many of the rescues occur in the owner's pasture or stable. Numerous times we have helped lift a horse that was unable to stand on its own. Some emergencies have been on the trail. We have also responded to over turned trailer accidents. Although most responses have been for horses, we have rescued cows. We are aware of Llamas, camels and buffalo in our area.

Animals, large and small become pets and members of the owner's family. Whenever Felton responds to a large animal rescue it perks the attention of the local media. We often end up on the local news that evening and in the newspaper the next day. Recently, a rescue was filmed by a local news channel and the video was sold to a company that makes animal rescue television shows. The television show aired on the ‘Animal Planet' network in June 2005. As a result of the passion an owner has for their animal and the “feels good” new story, Felton Fire Protection District has been well supported with encouragement and financial support.


Large animals, like horses, can weigh 1000 pounds or more depending on breed. Felton Fire Protection District acquired, through the generosity of many friends, rescue equipment better suited to handle the weight of a large animal. 5/8" rope, cargo straps, carabineers, gathering plates, 8 plates and other equipment was purchased.

The equipment Felton Fire Protection District uses is similar to anything an organized fire agency might carry for rescue purposes. Rope systems, rescue straps and webbing are the main components. There is a variety of specialty equipment available that can aid the basic equipment. The rescue glide and extraction sling made by Charlie Anderson are excellent tools. The Anderson Sling is a great tool used to hold and support an injured horse. We also have additional specialized equipment including the UC Davis LAL (Large Animal Lifter) and an AirShore A-Frame Gantry and tripod capable of lifting 6000 pounds.

All of our rescue equipment for Large Animal Rescue has been donated or purchased with donations.

If you have any questions about equipment or wish to donate to further equip our team, please contact us and we would be glad to provide some information for you. Donations are tax deductible. The Felton Fire Fighters Association would receive your donation. The fire fighters association is an IRS 501.c.3 non profit organization.


Chief Ron Rickabaugh is the contact regarding the administration of Felton's Large Animal Rescue team.


  • See the Contact Us page for Felton Fire Protection District addresses and phone numbers.
  • Captain John Fox and Fire fighter Deb Fox can be reached on their web page.
  • For information on other large animal rescue sites go to our Links page.