The UF VETS team has long worked with partners in the fire service and law enforcement to better prepare first responders for animal emergencies, primarily through our Animal Technical Rescue training program. With the passage of Senate Bill 388 in 2021, which authorizes the treatment of injured police canines by paramedics and emergency medical technicians, UF VETS began work to provide training to support pre-hospital care of these patients.
UF veterinary faculty, technicians, and students collaborate to provide hands-on training for K9 First Aid. The training includes:
- Performing a basic health assessment,
- Common illnesses,
- Common injuries,
- Field treatment, and
- Partnering with veterinary professionals
In April 2022, UF VETS piloted K9 CARE for handlers, an awareness level training. This was followed in April 2023 with our first K9 CARE for paramedics, an operations level training including a larger scope of practice for prehospital treatment of K9 patients. Our next paramedic training will be held on May 4, 2024. Each training is 8 hours in length.
At this time, trainings are only available at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Florida, where we have the opportunity to divide participants into small groups for greater hands-on training opportunities with our veterinary students and technicians in the College’s Clinical Skills Laboratory.
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