By: Lee Palmer, DVM, MS, DACVECC, NRP, EMT-T, WEMT, CCRP, TP-C Description: Operational K9s (OpK9s) deployed in a tactical or high threat environment remain at high risk for suffering preventable deaths.
By: Lee Palmer, DVM, MS, DACVECC, NRP, EMT-T, WEMT, CCRP, TP-C
Operational K9s (OpK9s) deployed in a tactical or high threat environment remain at high risk for suffering preventable deaths. Despite their invaluable contribution in safeguarding our society’s freedoms, prehospital trauma care for these OpK9s remains lacking. Factors hindering the availability and provision of such care include lack of: a) Veterinary Emergency Medical Service (VEMS) support b) Nationally accepted “standards of care” for Veterinary Prehospital Care, and c) standardized VEMS training courses and certifications. Veterinary professionals are increasingly requested to teach non-veterinary first responder’s canine field care. Attempts to provide or develop standardized veterinary prehospital courses are hampered by the interpretation of current state laws governing practice of veterinary medicine. As such, not only would such acts be considered out of the scope of practice of an EMSP, but also in violation of the state’s Veterinary Practice Act / Legislative Code which subjects the EMSP to legal reprisal. The National Association of Veterinary EMS (NAVEMS) is a not-for-profit association with the mission to advocate preveterinary care legislation and to serve providers of veterinary prehospital care with the knowledge, information, and inspiration to enable them to be the best in their profession. NAVEMS is the first multidisciplinary association of veterinary professionals, EMS practitioners and K9 Handlers with a united front of delivering focused educational programs and building strong networks to enable a collaboration between Veterinary and EMS professionals to develop a National Standard for Veterinary Prehospital Care.
- Discuss lessons learned needed for States to pursue the development of Preveterinary Care Legislation to legally allow EMS providers the ability to legally render emergency life-saving care to Operational K9s injured in the Line of Duty.
- Discuss key points EMS agencies need to consider before providing preveterinary care to an injured OpK9 to include development of: a VEMS training program for their EMS providers, a working relationship with a regional veterinary treatment facility for provision of veterinary oversight, training, and Online Veterinary Medical Control support, and more.
- Discuss the tenets of developing a training program for various audiences (EMS, K9 handlers). This requires veterinary personnel to have a general understanding of each audience’s scope of practice, training knowledge, available resources, and operations
Dr. Palmer is a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) that possesses over 20 years of military, tactical and operational medicine experience. He has served in the military since 1996, currently assigned as the Group Veterinarian for the 20th Special Forces Group, Alabama Army National Guard. Dr. Palmer also serves as the Veterinarian for the 24th Special Operations Wing and Operational K9 consultant for various federal Law Enforcement agencies. He has and continues to provide training and consultation in the field of K9 Tactical and Prehospital Care nationally and internationally, at various venues and for various military, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, and Tactical EMS communities. Dr. Palmer is the lead and founder of the K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (K9 TECC) working group, Medical Education Director for PennVet’s Working Dog Practitioner program, Veterinary Medical Director for National Association of Veterinary EMS (NAVEMS), and active working group member for the Defense Committee on Trauma’s (DCoT) Canine Combat Casualty Care Committee. Additionally, he serves as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff and certified Tactical Paramedic for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
(Monday) 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST