The Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR), BARTA and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) have held a joint training day looking at large animal response.
Emergency responders face a variety of challenges during operational activity and their tactics always need to consider the presence of animals. The better prepared animal establishments and responders are ahead of a problem, the more effective they will both be if an emergency occurs.
UK national guidance for the fire and rescue service prompts fire authorities to gather information about animal establishments, in order for responders to understand the complexities and hazards associated with an unwanted event at the location.
The DATR delivers animal handling training for more than 400 personnel and role specific training for hundreds of Military Working Animals per year. The unit is a joint service establishment with serving personnel from several Army regiments and the RAF Police.
Farriers in the military mounted divisions (Household Cavalry and Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery) are all trained large animal rescue responders, following the same approved techniques and principles as the UK fire and rescue service responders.
BARTA joined the team at DATR Melton Mowbray, local fire crews and LFRS’s animal rescue team for a day of collaboration and training. They discussed a range of possible scenarios including fires and animal entrapments. LFRS demonstrated the equipment available for large animal rescue and talked about their skills and mobilising criteria.
The BARTA team discussed veterinary considerations at rescues, demonstrated rescue techniques and led practical scenarios representing common situations that might be encountered in an animal establishment, such as a horse stuck in a ditch or cast in a stable.
BARTA Director Jim Green said “It is a real privilege to be able to support and facilitate collaborative days like this. BARTA are committed to providing best practice solutions to enable foreseeable risks to be managed through effective planning, preparedness and response. Military teams are able to deal with many situations they may encounter, but when a situation exceeds their on site capabilities, it is essential that local authority responders are able to seamlessly support with shared understanding of risks and tactics”