Lexington, KY (October 10, 2018) - A core tenet of the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) is its dedication to the protection of the state's equine community and its horses. The organization has multiple programs in place to act as safety nets for horses in the state of Kentucky, but one opportunity in particular focuses on strategic teamwork to preserve the safety of horses and other Bluegrass livestock: the Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training.
Offered to all Kentucky-based emergency service responders, veterinary professionals, animal control officers and the public at large, the training prepares attendees for a large-animal emergency rescue situation, focusing on keeping humans and animals as safe as possible during the event. Offered yearly, the course focuses on the facilitation of open conversation between veterinarians, firemen, volunteers and police, showing each how to better assist the other when responding to emergency situations where large animals are involved.
Begun in 2014, the three-day training has both hands-on and classroom learning opportunities. Scenarios that are discussed include entrapments, barn fires, trailer accidents on the roadway, water rescues, natural disaster preparation and response, and riding accidents, among others.
In 2018, 40 people received nearly 24 hours of instruction from Tori and Justin McLeod of 4Hooves Large Animal Service LLC. Based in Spring Lake, N.C., the husband-and-wife duo specialize in large animal technical rescue emergency response and in training for emergency responders and veterinary professionals.
Richard Nolan, a member of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture/Farm Safety Team, attended the Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training and had several "aha" moments during the course. "I'm a firm believer in that 'you can't lead someone where you have never been,'" Nolan says. "Justin and Tori McCloud are great teachers because of their breadth of experience."
While he recognizes that no two scenarios will ever be the same, one of the biggest takeaways he had was that "The broader the knowledge of the team executing the rescue or recovery, the greater the opportunity for success."
This focus on teamwork permeated every aspect of the workshop. Officer Scott Lynch, a mounted police officer with the Lexington Mounted Patrol, says he "gained an understanding of the requirements to succeed and therefore have a better opportunity to keep the situation from becoming worse until personnel and equipment can reach the scene."
"This training is absolutely worthwhile and necessary for first responders or persons working around large animals. The main thing I took away from this ... is the need for preparation before an incident," he explains.
"The Kentucky economy depends on the success of our equine and cattle industries," says Katy Ross, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Council. "We've all heard the stories of both horses and cattle finding themselves in interesting predicaments. It's critical that we have first responders and veterinarians who are properly trained in how to deal with these situations, not only to protect and save the animals' lives, but to protect the humans dealing with them as well."
Want to learn more about the Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training or find out how to register? Click here. https://kentuckyhorse.org/Large-Animal-Emergency-Rescue. Thank you to our 2018 sponsors: US Equestrian Disaster Relief Fund, Otterbein University, Neogen, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Zoetis, Kentucky Horse Park, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and Rocky M. Mason, DVM with Lexington Equine Medical.
The 2019 Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training will be held September 20-22 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
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