Thursday, May 25, 2017

NMSU Extension hosts large animal rescue training for emergency response teams

NMSU Extension hosts large animal rescue training for emergency response teams DATE: 05/25/2017 WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, jmoorman@nmsu.edu CONTACT: John Allen, 575-835-0610, allenj@nmsu.edu The emergency call comes into the 911 center: a horse and its rider have fallen into a deep arroyo and the horse is laying on the person. Another call asks for help getting a horse out of a water-filled drainage ditch. A third call tells of a livestock trailer that has rolled over during a traffic accident. These may seem like scenes from a television show, but they are real-life scenarios where emergency response personnel must be ready to respond. Sarah Jucha of Bernalillo County Animal Control said it’s not uncommon to get calls to rescue large animals. “We get them all the time,” Jucha said. “I’ve had to get horses out of ditches. It can be tricky if you haven’t had training.” New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences hosted a three-day training in April to provide an opportunity for emergency response and agriculture personnel to train together prior to an actual emergency. Hosted by NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service county offices in Dona Ana and Socorro counties and funded by New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security, the training addressed awareness, operations and technical methods. “The training provided practical consideration, behavioral understanding, specialty equipment techniques, methodologies and tactics behind the safe extraction of a live, large animal from entrapments in an emergency situation,” said Teresa Dean, NMSU CES agent in Dona Ann County. Rebecca Gimenez of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue in Macon, Georgia, led the training. Gimenez was called upon to conduct the training after Jessica Smith, former CES agricultural agent in Socorro County, took Gimenez’s class in Georgia. “Jessica came back from our training and convinced the county emergency management to purchase an A-frame bi-pod hoist system and ropes for rescues, and a 600-pound horse mannequin for training,” Gimenez said. The horse mannequin allowed participants to practice techniques for handling the animal, such as putting straps on the animal to be lifted out of mud or water, or strapping the sedated horse to a sledge to be hauled out of a deep ravine. “It’s one thing to practice on a lightweight stand-in for a horse, it’s another thing to have to pull a 1,000-pound horse out of a steep ravine or hoist them out of water,” Gimenez said. “The mannequin gives the trainees a realistic experience.” The first two days of training in Las Cruces introduced participants to the proper handling of cattle and horses and how to use a fire extinguisher in case of a barn fire; to properly use an A-frame bi-pod hoist and rope pulley system; and how to rescue a horse from a roll-over trailer accident and from a burning barn. During the technical training in Socorro County, participants had to rescue a mannequin human and horse from a 100-foot ravine, and a horse from a swift-water drainage ditch. “This was just an introduction into the types of scenarios that they might face,” Gimenez said. “You never know who will be present to help in an emergency. It could be yourself and two other people. Or you could be lucky to have a team that includes EMTs and veterinarians.” Participating in the training were firefighters from Las Cruces, Dona Ana County, Radium Springs, Sunland Park and Socorro; animal control officers from Deming, Dona Ana County, Las Cruces, Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and Bernalillo County; Extension agents from Luna, Otero, Dona Ana and Socorro counties; veterinarians from Las Cruces, Edgewood and Magdalena; Back Country Horsemen members from Edgewood; NMSU livestock specialist Marcy Ward; and NMSU students. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews

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