Frederick County has the most horses per capita in Maryland and the President of Da Vinci Equine, Nicole Ehrentraut, said large animal rescue training is important for all first responders.
"Horse is a prey animal and we're predators," Ehrentraut said. "We're trying to learn the horse's language itself so that we can have a more successful rescue."
The Da Vinci Equine one-day course is intended to provide an awareness level to first responders so they know how to properly respond to a large animal rescue, how to keep themselves safe, as well as things to avoid.
Ehrentraut said many times horse owners do not know who to call when their horse needs technical rescue, and as a result animal control is called, but they don't have training in large animal rescue.
Keith Miller, a Frederick county firefighter, said he's never had this sort of training.
"It's been really interesting," Miller said. "A lot of techniques we use for humans won't necessarily apply or carry over so well to large animals. Just like going into a fire you have proper precautions, you should have proper precautions with horses."
The one day training was free for the firefighters thanks to a scholarship Ehrentraut put together for first responders.
According to Ehrentraut, livestock trucks pass through Maryland and Virginia on a regular basis, and first responders benefit greatly from having training in how to approach the situation and keep both people and animals safe.
Ehrentraut said she hopes to one day train every fire department in Maryland.
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