First Responders Need Special Training to Handle Incidents Involving Dangerous Animals
By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
Responding to any 911 call requires assessing the scene for safety. In many cases, a situation that might initially appear to be safe suddenly poses a variety of threats.
In Meriden, Connecticut, for example, a 21-year-old man was recently arrested for having nine highly venomous snakes in his possession. Police responding to the scene knew that the individual possessed the illegal snakes, but they did not realize just how deadly a threat they posed.
According to WTNH in New Haven, two of the snakes in the individual's possession were already dead. But a herpetology specialist had to come in and remove the snakes in a safe manner.
Nicholas Barnett, of the Animal Curator Children's Museum in West Hartford, told the TV station that if you get bit by a poisonous snake, “it doesn't take long for you to die.”
The case highlights the fact that the public safety community needs specialized training to deal with wild animals. While cases involving highly dangerous animals are relatively rare, they shine a light on an area where public safety professionals could use more training.
Safety Conditions Can Deteriorate Rapidly during Emergency Situations
First responders often enter situations that become unsafe at some point during the call. For example, they may confront an aggressive dog or an alligator in someone’s backyard.
These incidents are generally rare, but they underscore the need for specialized training in managing aggressive animals. Without this specialized training, it can be difficult for first responders to stay safe when they confront a potentially dangerous animal. Training for these circumstances provides a better way to manage incidents that threaten first responders’ safety.
In-Service Training for Dangerous Animals Needed to Maintain First Responder Safety
In-service training is one of the most effective ways of keeping first responders current on new techniques. It is also an effective measure to prevent first responders from being injured on the job.