Norman, OK Training

Check out the article that Robert Medley of the Oklahoman newspaper wrote about the
BART training we did in Norman, Oklahoma recently. Here is the link in the online newspaper, as well as the post below.

Pet rescues are the focus of course for Norman emergency responders
Firefighters in central Oklahoma will learn how to save pets during a three-day course in Norman sponsored by the Oklahoma City Kennel Club.

Robert_MedleyBy Robert Medley Modified: September 29, 2013 at 10:00 am • Published: September 29, 2013

NORMAN — In a burning house or amid the debris of a natural disaster, pets suffer alongside the people who own them.

Virginia_CutterVirginia Rud, a volunteer trainer with Basic Animal Rescue Training from Iowa, demonstrates how to treat a dog in an emergency situation during a class for first responders in June in Oklahoma City. PROVIDED

Firefighters in central Oklahoma will learn how to save pets during a three-day course sponsored by the Oklahoma City Kennel Club.

The Basic Animal Rescue Training course will be Friday through Oct. 6 at the Norman Fire Department training center. Firefighters, paramedics, law officers and members of the armed services can learn how to help pets in all kinds of emergencies.

Keith Nelson, chief of training for the Norman Fire Department, said 40 Norman firefighters are enrolled.

The firefighters saw dogs, cats, horses and all kinds of animals displaced and injured while responding to the May 20 tornado in Moore, Nelson said.

“There was such a large number of animals displaced in the Moore tornado. You see a need for a game plan,” Nelson said.

Animals were roaming the streets and hiding in debris during search and rescue efforts.

The upcoming class will focus on small animals and how to deal with aggressive dogs.

Dogs may try to protect property without knowing the firefighters are there to help.

“Humans, of course, are our No. 1 priority in disasters, but we have to take care of animals,” Nelson said.

Norman firefighters use cardiopulmonary resuscitation on most animals when possible at house fires, he said.

The Basic Animal Rescue Training program is based in Minnesota and instructors tour the country visiting fire departments.

Holly Million, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City Kennel Club, said it is important to offer the course to first responders.
“This was something we thought we wanted here even before the Moore tornadoes, but that did place an emphasis on this,” Million said. “But also, often when a first responder goes to a scene of a heart attack, patient and the service guard for example wants to guard the patient. We want to train people how to remove the animal without having to harm the animal in any way.”

She said first responders may need to know how to use specific equipment, such as a specially made bag for removing a cat or nets to catch pets.

“We’ve found people do not want to leave their animals because they are like family,” Million said.