MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Caring for K9 partners wounded or injured in the line of duty was the focus of a successful, two-day training course offered in Morris County this week to law enforcement officers and first responders.
The course was spearheaded by R.A.N.T Strategies, in conjunction with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Special Operations Group (SOG). IFAKs, which are individual first-aid kits carried by both K9s and their handlers, were donated to the program by The Morris Animal Inn, an award-winning and internationally recognized animal shelter with over 60 years of experience in animal care.
Participants ranged from members of the U.S. Secret Service, New Jersey State Police and local police to sheriff’s departments and first responders. The K9 Medical Operator Course instructed participants on everything from lifesaving techniques to basic veterinary first aid during the two-day sessions held this past Tuesday and Wednesday at the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.
K9 handlers from various departments and agencies brought their dogs to the class to learn basic bandaging and handling during an injury. But the course also included a dog model – Diesel, a robot-like Belgian Malinois, which simulated a bleeding animal suffering life-threatening wounds from a bomb blast. Participants were provided a hands-on experience in controlling the bleeding and stabilizing the animal for transportation to a hospital – just as they would do for a human partner in an emergency.
K9 partners served as members of various law enforcement operations. In Morris County, for example, they work with bomb technicians and tactical squads. The program instructed participants how to offer wounded K9 partners the highest level of medical care possible when they are injured in the field.