Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training Offered in Kentucky

USRider and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) are partnering for the fifth annual large animal emergency rescue training course. As with previous years' training, specially trained demonstration animals will help provide realistic hands-on training during the seminars.

Scheduled for March 27-29, 2009, the first seminar is reserved for EKU students. The second seminar, March 31-April 2, 2009, is open to the public. Fire and EMT responders and veterinarians are encouraged to attend. The training will also include a separate session on HAZMAT decontamination of large animals. Scheduled for the morning of April 3, this free session will cover the issues related to rescuing large animals that have encountered chemical, biological, or radiological contamination. Interested parties should contact EKU so accommodations can be made. The training is being funded through the Large Animal Rescue Endowment Fund administered by USRider.

"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."

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 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.

The large animal rescue training will cover techniques and procedures to assist large animals involved in transportation accidents and other emergencies. It will include 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.

Due to the hands-on nature of the training, each large animal emergency rescue seminar is limited to 30 participants. Be sure to call and reserve your space today. For more information about the seminars and to register, call the EKU Loss Prevention and Safety Department at 859/622-1009.

Contributions to the Large Animal Rescue Endowment Fund can 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.

USRider Equestrian Motor Plan is a nationwide member-based organization providing roadside trailering assistance, including towing and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling, veterinary referrals and more. For more information, visit

Read more about Technical Large Animal Equine Rescue.

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