Saginaw Co. mounted division, aerial division train for search and rescue

The Saginaw County mounted division and aerial division trained Monday for search and rescue. (Jesse Gonzales)

Summer is nearing, which means more people are bound to be outside.

The Saginaw County Sheriff's Posse Mounted Division and Aerial Division are gearing up for anything and everything that could take place.

On Monday, deputies trained on search and rescue, using a different kind of 'horsepower' than usual.

Men and women saddled up around 6 p.m. Monday to search for an autistic teen girl and an elderly woman with dementia on horses.

The scenarios were just for practice.

It was all a part of a mock rescue.

"So much is the training," Lloyd Zimmerman, the corporal with the mounted division, said. "So that we may be ready for that emergency that may come about."

Zimmerman said all of the people on horseback are volunteers.

"All our own horses, all our own equipment," he said. "Anything from the trucks and trailers to the saddles."

For some, Monday's training was their first rodeo.

But for others, they've successfully rescued subjects in the past, thanks to the assistance of the horses.

"With horses, we can navigate difficult terrain, larger spaces," Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said. "And we can cover a lot more ground a lot quicker."

Sheriff Federspiel said the training is crucial.

He said it helps to bring loved ones home.

"I have two small children," he said. "I had some family members that had some illnesses, some dementia issues. If they had wandered off, I would love to know that we had a mounted division that could help go find them safely."

The sheriff said their division tries to get out at least once a month to train, especially to cover ground in all different weather conditions.

Monday's joint training with the aerial division, he said, doesn't happen often; therefore, he said he was glad to work together this time.

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