First Responders Learn to Handle Animals in Emergencies

Published on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

See media coverage of the first responder training below.

Becker College provided first responder training on the handling and care of animals during emergencies in a full-day session on Monday, October 21.

“Handling Equine Emergencies,” open to rescue and other emergency personnel, was held at the College’s Equestrian Center. First responders learned how to handle such equine emergencies as a barn fire, a vehicular accident involving horses in a trailer, and equine rescues from floods and other disasters.

The session was conducted by Roger Lauze, manager of equine rescue at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Lauze is the designer of the rescue Glide equipment for handling horses in emergencies, and has been recognized by the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association for his outstanding contribution to equine care.

“As the home of a nationally recognized animal sciences school, Becker College helps guide the animal care community by examining the social impact of the bond between humans and animals,” said Richard French, DVM, M.S., Ph.D., dean of Animal Studies and Allerton Chair of Animal Health Sciences at Becker College. “Training is necessary if first responders will be prepared to offer quality care to animals, as well as humans, in times of crisis.”

Participants included state police and responders from Plymouth, Paxton, Worcester, Townsend, Spencer, the Massachusetts Port Authority, and others from equine facilities around the area.  In addition to first responders, Becker College students were on hand to record the training. Trina Baker, assistant director of the facility, a coach of the equestrian team, and a professor at the college, plans to work with the students to design an instructional computer game that would train first responders for animal rescue.

The Becker training event was funded by a $5,000 grant from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation.

Many hands needed for horse rescue drill at Becker College’s Equestrian CenterWorcester Telegram & Gazette

50 Mass. first responders get emergency training with horses – NECN ( video below)