Horsing Care 101 – Code 3

(Chris) Today I’m joined at the Horse Care 101 with Mr. Eric Thompson. He is from the Kansas City metro area with Code 3 and the Equine Emergency Response Team. (Eric) That is correct. And the Emergency Equine Response Unit focuses on technical large animal rescue techniques and we teach that to first responders, veterinarians, vet techs and horse owners, all over the country. So, today thank you for hosting us here. We were able to share a little bit of awareness of how people can safely move downed animals or work around downed animals. So, they can take that information back to their first responders, their fire departments, their veterinarians. Let ’em know that we’re around and that we’re able to provide classes and instruction for those groups across the country and hopefully create an awareness level for a safety extraction of animals in need. (Chris) Yeah, and I think that that’s something that people don’t think about until they get in those situations like man, how would you move this animal? And that’s exactly what you guys do, is help with the training and all kinds of aspects. You help here at the vet school getting some of the students ready and even some of us clinicians, but also the fire departments and everything. How far do you go? Do you stay mainly Kansas, or in Missouri, or what’s kind of your range of training? (Eric) For training we teach all over the country. We’ve taught at Clemson University in New York, all the way out to California, north and south, we go border to border for training. For response, cause we do provide response and support for veterinary call outs and first responder call outs for Kansas and Missouri. We have about a two hour range outside the Kansas City metro for all the states. (Chris) OK. And I think that’s something that people don’t even know is out there is a possibility, that needs some help that maybe they don’t know and that they could give you guys a call. And what would be that contact or be able to get a hold of you, maybe go to your website, or what would be a way to get a hold of you in those kind of situations? (Eric) Absolutely, to learn more about it, you can go to our website. It’s eerular.org, which is Emergency Equine Response Unit Large Animal Rescue.org. Or you can go to asartraining.org because it promotes both the large and small animal tactical rescue techniques that we share. It shows our responses that we’ve done with the actual rescues. It shows a lot of our trainings and it shows our participation here with K-State in partnership to get this information out so that as veterinarians and vet techs go out into the world, they can take this information with them. (Chris) And I think until the students actually have seen it, or even clients, you know and the horse owners, until they actually see that stuff, they’re like, “Oh I didn’t even think about that.” Or those kind of things. And I think by doing some of these things, and getting out there, we’re gonna get more people to actually understand hey, we can at least learn these things, and potentially be more prepared. Hopefully, never have to use those situations, but at least be prepared and know who to get a hold of. (Eric) Absolutely, all the techniques that we teach are very basic. We have some very expensive toys that we can show off. But at the same time, we appeal to the horse owner that’s gonna be first on scene, to teach them the basic safety aspects. As horse owners, we all love our animals and they are family members and we get complacent and don’t always remember that they’re gonna have a fear response and may react unpredictably. So, we teach those basic safety rules that apply to both first responders and to horse owners. They take that out in the field and then we can apply tactical rescue techniques and training. (Chris) And what’s kind of your new toy I guess, that you kind of have that you could use if needed? I think I saw that you had that. Can you explain at least a little bit about that? (Eric) We were asked to test a prototype A frame. It’s the first of its kind in the country. Dr. Kathleen Becker developed it in Virginia. And she knew of our training, we have one of the more technical trainings across the country. And she sent it to us from Virginia and asked us to run it through its paces and do a test run on it. This A frame is humongous. It stands 20 feet. It can lift 20,000 pounds. She did the test runs with actual automobiles on the lift and that’s to give a safety rating. So, we can lift a Belgian horse and know that equipment is gonna be solid. So, we’ve been putting it through it’s paces. We’re actually going to do an awareness class for a horse club here at K-State tomorrow where we’ll have that A-frame up and be able to show it off. And then the recommendations that we send back to Dr. Becker, she’ll put the final tweaks on it. And it will be available for purchase in 2015. (Chris) That is great. So, I think that’s the biggest thing is just knowing that you guys are out there. Knowing that there’s training available from one side of the ocean to the other, right? (Eric) You bet. Coast to coast. (Chris) That is great. Well, sure appreciate you coming here and the great partnership we have with you here at Kansas State. (Eric) Thank you for having us. (Chris) I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center and we’ll see you around.

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