DAVIE, Fla. – A group of Davie firefighters met on Thursday at Robbins Park to train with a few of the Davie Police Department’s horses and their handlers on how to rescue animals during emergencies.
Vincent Martinez, the battalion chief of the Davie Fire Rescue Department’s training division, said the town’s residents own horses, cows, goats, and lamas.
“We see a lot of them in Davie. Whether there are animals walking on the highway or stuck in high water ... or evacuation during storms,” Martinez said.
Martinez entrusted Rebecca Husted with the training to meet the needs of the equestrian town. She is the owner of the Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, an instructor, and an expert on horse-handling issues.
There were also several veterinarians and animal rights experts to assist them with the proper handling techniques.
Husted, an animal physiologist, said the techniques have to consider both the behavioral traits of the animal and also the behavioral traits of the rescuer.
“Many people when they show up on these scenes, they want to try to get in and do something,” said Husted.
Husted, also a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran, added that during a crisis it’s important to recognize that there are some situations when all the rescuer needs to do is to step back and give the animal some space.