Setting the Context Jim Green Animal Rescue Specialist Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Large Animal Rescue Definition The removal of an animal from a place of danger to a place of safety by the most humane method With overriding regard for the safety and welfare of ourselves and members of the public.
Traditionally… Animal Rescues regarded as a soft humanitarian service No formal knowledge or training Corporate liability protected by rural Firefighters having livestock experience?
Pictures courtesy of Wim Back Soft humanitarian service?
Prey Animals • Fear (Fear is their main emotion) • Flight (Will always choose to run away) • Herd mentality (Will aim to return to herd) • Fight (If cornered may fight) Kicking, biting, butting, crushing, gouging
Immediate Danger to Life or Health Fire and Rescue Service arrival on scene is NOT calming to a large animal!! Rescuing a large animal can: • Pose an immediate threat to life • Cause serious injury • Compromise means of escape
2004 Fire Services Act Sect. 11. Power to respond to other eventualities • A F&RS may take any action it considers appropriate in response to an event or situation that causes or is likely to cause, • a) one or more individuals to die, be injured or become ill, or • b) cause harm to the environment (including the life and health of plants and animals) • This power may be exercised outside as well as within an authorities area.
Some ask could we opt out of Animal Rescue altogether? Firefighters will come across animals in many aspects of normal Fire Service activity. For example RTC’s, agricultural fires and other entrapments
Why Should the Fire and Rescue Service carry out Animal Rescues? • Large animals in distress are considered an Immediate Danger to Life or Health • This is no place for untrained personnel, distressed owners, onlookers or rodeo tactics • FACT: 83% of the public when surveyed in the US claimed they would risk their lives for an animal
How did Hampshire address this area of specialist rescue? • Animal Rescue Specialists • RDS contract • Usually act as Operations Commander • Wealth of animal rescue experience coupled with agricultural backgrounds • Provide training at varying levels across the Service and beyond
3 Animal Rescue Teams Strategically placed to cover Hampshire since 1997, co-ordinated by our 4 Specialists since 2004
1) Large Animal - EntrapmentEmergency Response • Local Fire Appliance • Animal Rescue Team (Minimum 6) • Animal Rescue Specialist Officer • Senior Officer
2) Large Animal - Veterinary Assist • Animal Rescue Specialist to investigate and summon resources as appropriate • Non emergency response
3) Farm fires, flooding, road traffic collisions and other incidents involving animals Incident Pre Determined Attendance: plus an Animal Rescue Specialist
Developments in Training and Equipment Anton Phillips Animal Rescue Specialist Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Prof. Tomas Gimenez Technical Large Animal Rescue Specialist & Large Animal Veterinarian
Animal Awareness Training since 1997 However…….
Safe practices were required for rescuing large animals which prompted… • Extensive research of worldwide provision • TLAER course in US in 2005 • Both sides shared good practice and learnt from each other • Strong links with animal rescue practitioners
Techniques Developed • Manual manipulation • Lifting for rescue or medical suspension • Rescue Glide and mechanical skidding • Trailer extrication or trailer righting
Down a Cow Harness with quick release attached
Level 1 Training 2 Hour Awareness and Safety at animal incidents lecture for… • All operational firefighters • Trainee Firefighters initial course • Senior Fire Officers(emphasis on command and control)
Level 2 Training(Animal Rescue Teams) • 2 day, Initial Large Animal Awareness/Handling at Sparsholt Agricultural College • 2 day rescue course by HFRS Animal Rescue Specialists • 1 day Animal Handling Refresher Workshop at Sparsholt College (timescale determined by need, ie access to local facilities during the year) • Consolidation training assessed on station by Watch Manager/Animal Rescue Specialist
Qualifications of AR Specialists • Technical Large Animal Rescue Instructors (Dept. Homeland Security / FEMA recognised qualification for USAR) • Marine Mammal Medics (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) • Small animal handling and capture training (RSPCA) • Exotics, birds of prey and Reptile handling (Heathrow Animal Reception Centre)
Managing the Incident Anton Phillips Animal Rescue Specialist Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Jim Green Animal Rescue Specialist Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Traditional problems associated with animal rescues • Immense pressure to “Do Something” • No accredited techniques or fit for purpose equipment • Lack of understanding on all sides • Owners, Veterinarians and willing helpers directing firefighters to engage in unsafe practices • Poor command and control • High risk of injury to all at the scene • Viability of animal reduced
The Horse Owner At an Incident: • May treat their horse as a child or baby • Often act irrationally • May try to direct Firefighters to perform dangerous practices • Put themselves at great risk • Feelings of guilt, fear and anger are common
The Farmer • Animals are their livelihood • Tend to be more rational • May provide you with lifting equipment • More reliable source of advice • Not used to working in a team environment • Be extra vigilant when operating around farm equipment
The Veterinarian • Many dread being called to an animal incident • Most have no formal animal rescue knowledge or experience • Most have no knowledge of F&RS systems of work or PPE required to work in the inner cordon • However, their presence is crucial to facilitate medical diagnosis and sedation/euthanasia
Other Likely Responders • Public • Farm and equine workers • Emergency Services • Other Agencies: RSPCA, Animal Welfare Groups, Council, Highways Agency