23/10/2019 Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Introduction to Horse Handling

We recently welcomed the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, based in Hatfield, for the first time to undertake The Introduction to Horse Handling course.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue attended two courses and will be returning in November for a third course. Fire and Rescue personnel frequently come into contact with distressed and injured animals of all types during many routine incidents. Gaining specific knowledge on reducing anxiety and minimising further stress by having an awareness of how horses react during dynamic and frightening situations is crucial.

The Horse Trust’s Introduction to Horse Handling and Behaviour course provides Fire and Rescue Service personnel with crucial horse knowledge and practical skills to help them deal with emergency incidents involving horses. There is a strong focus on the horse’s natural instincts and behaviours and how to keep arousal levels to a minimum during a rescue to avoid a strong fear response, which could cause further welfare compromise to the horse.

The learning outcomes have been developed in partnership with The British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association (BARTA) and The National Fire Chiefs Council and this essential basic insight into horse behaviour will assist firefighters in making effective and safe operational decisions at incidents involving horses.

The Horse Trust, Training Manager said “It is great that more Fire and Rescue Services are coming on board, to receive our training, meaning emergency responders are receiving a standardised approach. These courses went extremely well, and all the crew members were enthusiastic and keen to engage with the training”.

Watch Commander, Ben Russ said “Having attended a wide range of incidents with Herts Fire and Rescue, often animals have been involved in some way or another, taking the time to instigate suitable control measures is key to a successful outcome for both crew safety and the welfare of the public and of course our fluffy and hairy friends. 

Attending this formal training goes a long way to improving Fire & Rescue Services responses, ensuring standardised methods can be adopted and giving the crews confidence to bring the incident to a safe and happy outcome.”

Testimonials from the crew

 “Engaging, practical scenario-based training for fire and rescue crew to help bring an emergency situation under control”

 “Outstanding course, relevant to our role and well delivered”