On April 27th at 5:15PM, the Prescott Regional Communications Center received a ‘911’ call reporting a 70 year old female and her neighbor were being attacked by bee’s in the 1900 block of Meadowridge Road. One crew from Central Arizona Fire, two crews from the Prescott Fire Department, as well as a Battalion Chief responded. The first arriving crew found two female patients being attacked by very aggressive bees. The crews wore appropriate personal protective equipment and extricated the two patients from the area. The two were reported to have hundreds of bees covering their faces and head and were being aggressively stung. The patients were swiftly placed into a Lifeline Ambulance and rapid transport was made to Yavapai Regional Medical Center- West Campus, with a fire department paramedic accompanying them.
Upon further investigation, responding crews found four horses and two dogs also covered in bees. Fire department crews pulled multiple hose lines off the fire engines in an effort to spray the horses off with a mixture of water and firefighting foam. Due to the significant amount of bees covering them, crews released the animals from their enclosures to allow them to get away from the attacking bees. Crews reported that when the horses were rinsed off, thousands of bees would immediately cover them again, specifically on their faces and heads. One of the dogs was secured inside the residence and the other dog fled the area but was later found in good condition. Fire department crews made impromptu halters for the horses and secured each one, having to continually rinse them off and remove the bees off of their bodies. It was decided to relocate everyone from the immediate area, animals included, farther down the street.
The Prescott Police Department secured the roadway by shutting down Meadowridge Road. Thankfully many of the firefighters and police officers had experience with horses. In coordination with the ‘911’ dispatch center, the Battalion Chief contacted an emergency large animal veterinarian that responded to the incident with a team of assistants to care for the animals. Upon arrival they determined that two of the horses were in critical condition and two of the horses were in stable condition. The veterinary team performed advanced life support care for two of the horses and determined that they needed to be transported to the veterinary clinic for further treatment. This proved to create further logistical needs in trying to figure out how to get the horses to the clinic. Through a series of phone calls and support from friends and family, the fire crews were able to get the two horses to the veterinary clinic, relocate the two stable horses to a nearby stable, and secure the dogs. Upon follow-up at Yavapai Regional Medical Center, the two female patients were reported to be in stable condition, but had received hundreds of stings to their faces, heads, and bodies.
One firefighter was stung but did not have a reaction. Recent information into this office is that one of the horses has died from the stings sustained in this event.