The first responders who rescued a cow that fell into a manure trench at the University of New Hampshire dairy barn last year were reunited with the cow Wednesday and got to meet her 1-week-old calf.
Ruby the cow fell into the trench just over a year ago.
“She got herself in a pretty good pickle,” said Mark Trabold, UNH dairy farm lead farmer.
Ruby was on her way to get milked when her hoof got caught on a grate. She lifted the grate and fell 8 feet into a trench full of manure. Farmers were worried she was going to drown.
“I got down there and I got straps underneath her,” Trabold said. “I was up to my shoulders in it.”
“We couldn’t get her out on our own, so I said, ‘I’m doing the wild thing. I’m calling 911,'” said Jon Whitehouse, UNH dairy manager.
Crews from Durham, Madbury and McGregor EMS responded, with some emergency workers jumping into the oxygen-deprived, methane-rich sludge. It was a dangerous and nearly three-hour effort.
“It was cold and very cramped quarters to work in,” said Durham firefighter Artie Boutin.
“We had to use a large hydraulic mechanical lift to actually lift her out of the pit while (Assistant Fire Chief) Jimmy Davis was whispering to her, telling her it was going to be OK,” said Durham Fire Chief David Emanuel.
“We’re a lot drier (now),” Davis said.
Ruby’s calf, born two days before the anniversary of her rescue, was named McGregor, in honor of the ambulance company.
“(Ruby) powered through and she’s been a great cow ever since, and we hope McGregor will be just like her mom,” Trabold said.
The manure pit covers are now chained down, farm officials said.