Large Animal Handling Training for First Responders

J.K. Yarborough, UF/IFAS Extension, Seminole County, Sanford, FL, C. Woodard, UF/IFAS Extension, Seminole County, Sanford, FL and B. Hughes, UF/IFAS Extension, Seminole County, Sanford, FL

Situation: Seminole County’s Emergency Management Team recognized a need for Large Animal Handling Training for First Responders. This training was developed to give first responders and 4-Hers hands on learning with animal handling, animal behavior, and technical rescue response.
Methods: The first half of the training was horse and cattle stations; 45 minutes species specific behavior and 45 minutes species specific handling/trailering. 4-H youth brought their horses and cattle. Justin Callaham and Shane Michael taught horse sessions. Dr. Todd Thrift taught the cattle sessions. Sergeant Stronko discussed the roles of the Range and Water deputies. John Haven III and Karl Froling Jr. provided a hands on Tactical Response scenario.
There were 33 first responders, 6 4-H members, and two 4-H club leaders.
Results: Adult participants said that they learned about cattle and horses flight zones and behaviors. Adult participants said they learned how to reduce risk when loading animals. When asked to quantify if they would be in a better position to load/handle cattle and horses on a 1-5 scale, approximately 86% of surveys reported either a 4 or 5. With the same scale participants were asked if they were better prepared for a large animal evacuation. 74% of those surveyed reported either a 4 or 5.
Youth Results 100% reported that they can safely demonstrate how to load/unload cattle from a trailer. 100% reported they could safely demonstrate how to approach cattle and horses by distinguishing flight zones. 100% reported an increase in interest of careers in veterinary medicine and animal science. 100% reported an increase in knowledge of horse/livestock that would directly benefit their 4-H project.

 

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