Armstrong Ambulance personnel participated in a specialized training last month that would help them render aid to an injured dog in an emergency.
On Wednesday, Dec. 12, Armstrong welcomed veterinarian Beth Eisenberg from the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn for an in-depth training session that would enable them to help an injured dog, such as a police K-9 hurt in the line of duty.
Armstrong EMTs and paramedics worked with a black lab to learn more about its anatomy and develop an understanding of how to properly listen to its heart and lungs and locate its pulse.
Staff members were also trained on basic handling of an injured K-9—including providing safe transport using a backboard—and all of the critical skills they'd need to respond to various types of trauma, much as they do with human patients. They also had the opportunity to practice CPR on a K-9 mannequin.
"We work closely with police departments and other Law Enforcement agencies which includes their K-9 members, so we want to be prepared to provide critical lifesaving aid to anyone at a scene who may need it," Armstrong CEO Richard Raymond said. "Our team members did an excellent job building an understanding of how they can provide immediate help to injured dogs just like they would with an injured person."
While all Armstrong EMTs and paramedics have undergone extensive and specialized training to provide aid to human beings, the course on K-9 first aid allowed them to have a baseline understanding of the needs of injured animals and how their first aid needs differ from those of humans.
The course is part of Armstrong's ongoing training program, and provides participating EMTs and Paramedics with continuing education that they must fulfill in order to maintain their certifications. 28 Paramedics and EMTs participated in the training.