Large Animal Rescue Training to be Offered in Kentucky

Registration is now open for an annual large animal rescue training opportunity for first responders, emergency medical technicians, veterinarians, firefighters, and other emergency/rescue personnel. Technical Large-Animal Emergency Rescue Training is provided cooperatively by USRider and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU).

Two rescue training seminars have been scheduled for March 2010. The first course, scheduled for March 22-24, 2010, is open to the public, with emphasis on recruiting fire and EMT responders, veterinarians, and others. This seminar will also include a separate session on HAZMAT decontamination of large animals on the morning of March 25. The HAZMAT session will cover issues related to rescuing large animals that have encountered chemical, biological, or radiological contamination. In addition to training participants, local and state emergency preparedness officials are encouraged to attend. The second large-animal rescue training seminar, scheduled for March 26-28, 2010, is reserved for EKU students. These classes fill quickly, so those interested in attending are encouraged to enroll now.

The large-animal rescue training educates fire/rescue personnel, first responders, veterinarians, and horse enthusiasts about techniques and procedures to assist large animals involved in transportation accidents and other emergencies. Instruction covers the use of sedatives and tranquilizers, chemical restraint, rescue ropes and knots, rescue from horse barn fires, mud rescue, helicopter rescue, and water rescue, among other situations. Specially trained demonstration animals brought in to help provide realistic hands-on training during the seminars.

The training, which consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on training, qualifies each student to receive FSE 489 credit for the class.

USRider offers a nationwide roadside assistance program designed especially for equestrians. Since its establishment in January 2002, the company has endeavored to raise awareness of the need for training in large-animal emergency rescue.

"We've found that while emergency responders are trained experts in human rescue and extrication, they usually have no training in large-animal rescue," said Mark Cole, managing member for USRider. "Because of this 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."

Conducted annually for the past six years, the training is funded through the Large-Animal Rescue Endowment Fund, administered by USRider. Through its Leg-Up Fund, USRider has provided backing for numerous large-animal rescue initiatives, including equine ambulances and individual responder training.

In 2005, the company took its efforts in a new direction by creating the first Large-Animal Rescue Endowment Fund at Eastern Kentucky University. The unique endowment fund was established to promote large-animal-rescue training efforts and support related training programs.

Due to the hands-on nature of the training, each large-animal emergency rescue seminar is limited to 30 participants. Call and reserve your space today.

For more information about the seminars and to register, contact the EKU Safety, Security & Emergency Department at 859/622-1051.

Contributions to the Large-Animal Rescue Endowment Fund may be sent to the Division of University Development, CPO 19A, Jones 324, Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Ave., Richmond, Ky., 40475-3102. The Development office can be reached at 859/622-1583.

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.

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