Nearly 100 Florida emergency responders, livestock owners and veterinary staff dedicated a weekend to learn about large-animal rescue in a unique program offered by Daytona State’s School of Emergency Services in partnership with the Volusia County Sheriff, Public Protection and Fire Services offices. The rarely-offered experience was funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Held at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility, the program blended class time with hands-on practice, led by Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, an internationally recognized expert in animal physiology, behavior and rescue techniques.
Coordinated by Robin Davis, associate professor criminal justice training, the course covered techniques, protocols and tactics to solve animal-related emergencies on land, water and roadways. Participants represented 53 different agencies or agency representatives in the state.
“Knowing how to manage large animals during crises is critical - not only in farming and animal husbandry areas, but also in accidents on highways, in our city streets and in performance venues,” Davis said. “In fact, we were excited to see staff from Disney here, as well as members of the Seminole tribe, both with very different animal-management challenges.”