How does a police officer save his partner’s life when he’s about to go into anaphylactic shock from an attack by a swarm of bees? It could happen. And it gets much more complicated when your partner has paws instead of feet. Police officers, search and rescue teams and firefighters from all over the country came to New York City last weekend to answer this pressing question at K-9 Down, a two-day seminar at the NYC Veterinary Specialists and Cancer Treatment Center at 410 West 55th Street.
Police dogs get shot, trapped in smoke-filled rooms, slashed by box cutters and suffer heat exhaustion. And that’s just the dogs; no wonder the NYPD is having trouble finding recruits. “Anything can happen to them just like anything could happen to a human being,” said Sgt. Ron Cain of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which sent deputies to the seminars. Dr. Rita Hamel, who teaches at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and is the course director added, “We teach them how to be paramedics for their own dog in the field.” This creates a whole new dilemma: If its between your dog and a human victim, who do you aid first? And if you opt for the dog, do you brush your teeth before next giving CPR to a human?
In addition to CPR, participants learned how to take vital signs and apply bandages. And get this, they got to practice on real, live dogs—not fake or dead ones! David Gilmore of the U.S. Border patrol excitedly said, “I don’t want to hurt the dog, but if it saves his life in the field, it’s all worth it.” We’re sure the dogs agree.
Photo courtesy of exfordy on Flickr