Story by Dustin Gautney on 09/13/2019PENSACOLA, Florida - Law enforcement and military K9 handlers from 17 difference organizations from both the state of Florida and Alabama graduated from a day-long K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care course hosted by the U.S. Army Reserve's 350th Civil Affairs Command, in Pensacola, Fla. on Sept. 6.
Unlike their human counterparts, there are very few law enforcement officers or military personnel trained to provide first aid to a canine during an emergency or battle. To better assist their canine counterparts in case of an emergency, 51 law enforcement and military K9 handlers from various Police Departments, Sheriff Departments, Florida Highway Patrol along with K9 teams from the Navy and Air Force participated in a K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care course.
The K9 TECC course covered topics of addressing stab or gunshot wounds, broken limbs and dehydration.
"During the training We focus mainly on first aid and general care these gods are force multiplier for both law enforcement and military so keeping one dog in the fight saves many lives," said Maj. Mark Pelham, 350th CACOM Function Speciality Team Veterinarian.
Due to budget restrictions and agency policies, many law enforcement agencies do not have the resources to train working dog handlers on how to perform emergency medical treatment on their canine counterparts, or have Veterinarian Emergency Medical Technicians on staff.
However, the event was not only beneficial to the military and law enforcement agencies receiving the training, but also for the 350 CACOM as well.
"We were able to use this training experience to enhance our ability to put on similar training with foriegn nations that are starting to utilize K9's for law enforcement and military missions but may not have the same resources to provide emergency medical care," said Maj. James Watson, 350th CACOM Public Health Veterinarian.
The 350th CACOM has over 1,100 personnel under its command, mostly Army Reservists whose civilian expertise was needed to support military efforts abroad. Civil affairs soldiers are the Army's experts on working with civilian authorities and setting up civilian governments in the wake of wars and natural disasters.