The field of animal emergency response is really something that is still very new, and hardly heard about in connection with the “human response” aspects, but the truth is that one thing we have discovered is that these two areas most certainly intertwine. We have heard directly from first responders about situations they have faced when animals were involved where they really could have used the expertise and knowledge of our EARS Team, and this was a great chance to expand on that. Within the last year we have put a great deal of focus on providing some training opportunities for first responders, and we have always had great turnouts at those we have conducted. No matter the department – Fire, EMS, Police, and even public safety – individuals are coming across more and more instances with animals involved. The strength of the human-animal bond has been shown clearly, and it is better understood by first responders that animals are now important parts of the family circle, not “just pets” living in a house.
As one first responder said to us, “it’s all emergency medicine and response, whether it’s for a human or an animal, it all matters just as much,” and that is truly the basis for much of what we do. Because that human-animal bond is so strong, often times a person will put themselves in jeopardy for the lives of their animals. We have come in to situation where someone has refused medical transport because they could not assure the safety of their pets, or been more concerned with how their animals are doing than the fact that they just lost everything to a house fire, or even where first responders have rescued animals from situations and then needed assistance to figure out how and where to get them the help they need. Even within the “human side of things,” our EARS Team have become known as the “Animal EMTs” or “Animal Medics” and departments are becoming more aware of the services and skills that we can provide when needed.
We would like to extend a special thanks to Joe Laucella from the EMS Pro Expo for inviting us to attend and feeling that it was important and worth enough of a cause to bring our Rescue 2 Animal Ambulance up for the entire event. Thank you for making it possible for us to be there!