Horses on call for emergencies in McDonough County

A five year old child from Knob Noster, Missouri with Downs Syndrome recently wandered away from his home and was lost for more than 20 hours.

Luckily he was found in a bean field about 100 yards from his home, but situations like this can be extremely frightening for the family and for the person who is lost.

Now, McDonough County, Illinois has added another brach to it's search and rescue patrol to help in situations like that one.

KHQA's Jarod Wells has more on McDonough County Mounted Search and Rescue Patrol.

Six volunteers and their horses now make up the McDonough County Mounted Search and Rescue Patrol. They are always on call and will be called in if a search party is needed.

Volunteer Walt Dorethy said, "The horses would be able to go places and you would see while you were on a horse better than on the ground and cover more ground faster than if you were on foot."

Riding horseback would have been extremely helpful in the search for the missing Missouri child who was found in a cornfield.

Dorethy said, "The horses would have been a good asset there because if you were riding in a corn field you would be higher up, you could look down."

How much of an asset is this going to be to all law enforcement?

McDonough Co. Sheriff Rick VanBrooker said, "It gives us a sense of comfort. Whenever the community and emergency services can work together it makes the community stronger."

This group is still in the early stages. It will start only in McDonough County, but will hopefully spread to surrounding areas. Eventually the group hopes to add more volunteers. Sheriff Rick VanBrooker hopes this patrol is never needed but if it is...

VanBrooker said, "It's going to make all the difference in the world. When they're ready to go, organized, they can be there in a short period of time as opposed to organizing when it happens."

The Mounted Search and Patrol will not cost McDonough county any money, but the county will provide some necessary equipment like radios.