Writtle College host Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

March 2012

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Following on from Writtle College providing bespoke training and advice to the Essex Fire and Rescue team, the College has now hosted two training days with the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in preparation for their Large Animal Rescue service launch.

The Essex large animal rescue service was officially launched at Writtle College in April 2011, and now, in line with National Standard, the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue team has undergone training and skill development from animal and Equine experts at Writtle College.

Neil Hoskin, one of the AR3 instructors based at Dogsthorpe Fire Station in Peterborough, commented: “We came to Writtle College to receive training on animal behaviour and psychology, and during our two days here we have been fortunate enough to work with a variety of large animals including horses, pigs, sheep and cattle. Our priority at a large animal rescue is human safety - be it members of the Public, the Vet or the Fire and Rescue crew - our training at Writtle has enabled us to focus on not only the safety aspect, but also positioning of ourselves and our equipment, ensuring a more humane and ultimately viable outcome for the Animal involved. We will now follow this with a further two days practical based scenario training, back within Cambridgeshire on the multitude of different rescue techniques, which allow our Crews to work far more safely in an unpredictable environment ”

“The National Standard surrounding large animal rescue is a combination of clinical experience from vets coupled with rescue techniques and equipment from rescue teams all working together to get the best outcome.”

In Cambridgeshire alone, the Fire and Rescue teams have three rescue vehicles, based in Cambridge, Huntingdon and Peterborough.

Tony Burton, Cambridge Crew Commander, commented on behalf of his crew: “The standard of training we have received at Writtle College has been excellent, the academics leading the training have been both highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic, which has meant that the crew responded well.

“Animal rescue is something that Fire and Rescue crews have always offered as a service, and as with the other services we offer, it is an area that we always need to train and practice in to increase our skills.

“By the end of our training at Writtle College I think everyone will have developed in terms of animal rescue.”

Dr Heidi Janicke, Course Scheme Manager for Equine Science, and Lecturer on the training sessions at the College spoke about the training that the Fire and Rescue crew have received at Writtle College: “With the Fire and Rescue service crew coming through training sessions at the College we are able to train them to deal with a variety of animals. The College has a large number of resources and facilities available for this type of practical training, and in addition we have been able to advise on animal behaviour and handling.”

“Most livestock we deal with at the College tends to be ‘flight animals’ or prey, also their first instinct is to get away as fast as possible. If that means hurting anything that’s around them, then they will do that. So understanding their behaviour and how they respond to human interaction is quite useful in getting them out of a dangerous situation quicker.”

Writtle College, with its leading equine and animal science reputation, was selected by the Cambridgeshire Fire Service to be one of the official training grounds for its crew, commissioned to create the bespoke large animal training course. The training at Writtle has included a number of practical and theoretical sessions covering topic areas such as: sedation, animal behaviour, and sensory considerations.

Currently Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service attends approximately 80 large animal rescues a year.