USRider, EKU to Continue Large Animal Rescue Training

USRider Equestrian Motor Plan has teamed up with Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) to conduct large animal rescue training for the second consecutive year. The training was initially offered at EKU through two training sessions in March 2005.

The first seminar is reserved for EKU students and will be held March 17-19, 2006. The second seminar, which be held March 21-23, is open to the public and is geared toward fire and EMT responders, veterinarians, and others. Both training sessions will be held at EKU's Meadowbrook Farm, located in eastern Madison County.

“USRider adopted large animal rescue as our philanthropy when our organization was established in January 2002,” said Mark Cole, managing member of USRider. “At that time, the issue was barely on the radar screen. We found that emergency responders, while trained experts in human rescue and extrication, had no training in large animal rescue. Because of this lack of training, these responders were being put at great risk. Moreover, in many accidents and disasters, animals without life-threatening injuries were being injured further or even killed by use of incorrect rescue techniques.”

Last year, USRider established an endowed fund at EKU to promote large animal rescue efforts and support related training programs, including these training sessions. Working with the university, USRider offered large animal rescue training through EKU’s Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program. The training was designed to prepare students to handle incidents involving the rescue of large animals, particularly horses.

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 topics such as the use of sedatives and tranquilizers, chemical restraint, rescue ropes and knots, rescue from horse barn fires, mud rescue, helicopter rescue, and water rescue. The training, which consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on training, qualifies each student to receive college credit for the class.

For more information on these seminars, contact the EKU Loss Prevention and Safety Department at 859/622-1009.

Free Rescue Videos Still Available

In addition to these training sessions and other training initiatives and demonstrations, USRider worked with Drs. Tomas and Rebecca Gimenez to develop an awareness video about large animal rescue. More than 1,000 free copies of the video have been distributed to veterinarians, EMTs, firefighters, horse associations, law enforcement officers, horse enthusiasts, and other interested groups.

The Large Animal Rescue Awareness video remains free upon request. To receive a copy, send a written request on letterhead to: Large Animal Rescue Video, USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, PO Box 54711, Lexington, KY 40555. The request should indicate when the video will be viewed and the approximate number of people who will view it.

Contributions to the Large Animal Rescue Endowment Fund should be sent to the Division of University Development, CPO 19A, Jones 324, Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Ave., Richmond, KY 40475-3102. The contact number for the development office is 859/622-1583.

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