Large Animal Rescue Training Covered for Louisiana State Partner Groups

Partner groups of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) combined their expertise Nov 13-15 in Minden, La., for a course in technical large animal emergency rescue (TLAER). The course was held at the LSU Fire & Emergency Training Institute's Pine Country location. Leaders Tomas Gimenez, DrMedVet, and Rebecca Gimenez, PhD, provided 24 hours of classroom instruction combined with operational exercises with live horses and a llama.

More than 40 veterinarians, animal control officers, emergency managers, first responders, and other animal care providers participated in the training.

Highlights of the training included a night rescue of a disabled horse and rider, water rescue of a horse from an 8-foot-deep pond, and a vertical lift of a horse weighing more than 1,000 pounds. One of the major goals of this type of training is to teach first responders and animal care personnel to work together to save the lives of animals. This in turn will ultimately save the lives of humans, as humans often risk their lives to save an animal.

Participants in the course included animal control officers from Lafayette and Plaquemines Parishes, first responders from across Louisiana, veterinarians from the LSU Equine Health Studies Program, students from Louisiana Tech's Equestrian Club, and others. LSART has played a role in the training and certification of more than 120 people in large animal rescue, who have in turn become a part of the emergency preparedness plan for the state.

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