Lexington, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2007) - USRider and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) are partnering to offer large-animal emergency rescue training for the fourth consecutive year. As with last year's training, specially trained demonstration animals - horses and a llama - are being brought in to help provide realistic hands-on training during the seminars.
Two Technical Large-Animal Rescue training seminars are to be held next spring. Scheduled for April 18-20, 2008, the first seminar is reserved for EKU students. The second seminar, April 22-24, 2008, is open to the public, with emphasis on recruiting fire and EMT responders, veterinarians and others. The training is being funded through the Large-Animal Rescue Endowment Fund, administered by USRider.
The training will educate 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 will cover 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. 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.
The training will also include a separate session on HAZMAT Decontamination of Large Animals. Scheduled for the morning of April 25, this free session will cover the issues related to rescuing large animals that have encountered chemical, biological or radiological contamination. Local and state emergency preparedness officials are encouraged to attend. Interested parties should contact EKU so accommodations can be made.
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 of the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan. "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."
Through its Leg-Up Fund, USRider has provided backing for numerous large-animal rescue initiatives, from equine ambulances to individual responder training. In 2005, the company took its efforts in a new direction by creating the first-of-its-kind Large-Animal Rescue Endowment Fund at Eastern Kentucky University. The endowment fund was established to promote large-animal-rescue training efforts and support related training programs.
Eastern Kentucky University has established an annual Large Animal Rescue training program that provides training to the students within the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program. The Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program was established in 1975 and is one of only a few programs in the country which offers undergraduate degrees in fire and safety. Areas of study include life safety; fire prevention, suppression and investigation; fire service administration; fire protection principles; industrial loss prevention; safety program management; and occupational safety and health.