A large animal emergency rescue training seminar is being held at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, April 22-24. Training will include techniques used to assist large animals involved in transportation accidents and other emergencies. Specially trained horses (and a llama) are being brought in to help provide realistic hands-on experience.
"We've found that while emergency responders are trained in human rescue and extrication, they usually have no training in large animal rescue," said Mark Cole of USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, which partners with EKU to provide the program. "Because of a lack of training, responders are being put at great risk. Moreover, in many accidents and disasters, animals without life-threatening injuries are being injured further, or even killed, by use of incorrect rescue techniques."
With 30 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction, topics will include sedative and tranquilizer use, chemical restraint, rescue ropes and knots, as well as barn fire, mud, helicopter, and water rescues. A separate session on HAZMAT decontamination of large animals is scheduled for the morning of April 25. This free session will cover issues related to rescuing large animals that have encountered chemical, biological, or radiological contamination.
Eastern Kentucky University's Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program is one of only a few programs in the country to offer undergraduate degrees in fire and safety. In 2005, USRider created the first-of-its-kind Large Animal Rescue Endowment Fund at the school.
The large animal rescue seminar is open to the public, but due to the hands-on nature of the training, space is limited. For information and to register, call EKU's Loss Prevention and Safety Department at (859) 622-1009.