The Emergency Services Protocol has been launched to aid in the quick and safe rescue of horses in emergency situations. The initiative was started by the equine industry, most notably the British Equine Veterinary Association, The British Horse Society, and Horse and Hound magazine, in close partnership with the animal rescue experts at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Following stories of horses not receiving sufficient care and treatment from it’s readers Horse and Hound Magazine contacted the BHS about improving the quality of care.
The aim of the protocol is to minimise delays in injured animals receiving veterinary care. Previously, emergency services called to an accident had to look through phone directories to find a local vet and this would not always be a specialist equine vet. Now the emergency services have a list of specialist equine centres who will attend an emergency. Scarsdale is on the register for our area and has been since the scheme was launched.
To enable Scarsdale to provide the best care to horses in any emergencies they might attend, some of our vets have trained with the animal rescue specialists at Hampshire Fire and Rescue service. The course provided information on controlling the area, making sure everyone working around the horse is safe, the best type of sedation and pain relief for the horse, and when and how to use each one. Most importantly training included a series of techniques using a variety of equipment, including strops, strop guides and heavy limb crooks that allow the horse to be pulled to safety without anyone having to get too close to flailing limbs. Fortunately delegates on the course were able to practice on Howie and Lucky, two life-sized anatomically-correct horse manikins, who remained obligingly still throughout a series of simulated rescues!