UT College of Veterinary Medicine to Host Workshop for K9 Handlers and First Responders

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The Emergency and Critical Care Service at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) is hosting the Emergency Management of the Working Dog Conference May 31, 2024 – June 1, 2024.

A dog looks at camera while a man listens to his heart with a stethoscope
First responders and K9 handlers received hands-on experience in the 2022 conference.

The two-day complimentary conference is designed to help K9 handlers and medical first responders become familiar with emergency techniques so they can respond appropriately in the field and during transport to a veterinary facility. “One of the unique differences between human and veterinary medicine is access to pre-hospital care,” says Leslie Wereszczak, director of Emergency and Critical Care at UTCVM.

“Because early intervention can provide a more positive outcome, we want to give the first responders those tools so they can administer life-saving treatment.”

Friday, May 31, 2024, is designated for medical first responders, and Saturday, June 1, 2024, is for K9 handlers. The conference includes refreshments and lunch and will be held 9:00am – 4:30pm each day at the veterinary college located at 2407 River Drive, Knoxville. Topics will include K9 Tactical Combat Casualty Care (K9TCCC), CPR, wound management and bandaging, IV catheter placement and fluid resuscitation, environmental injuries, toxicology for working dogs, and GDV (bloat). Participants will be able to practice various techniques on models.

LTC Shane Chumbler, Clinical Instructor, First Year Graduate Veterinary Education and Clinical Consultant for the Veterinary Readiness Activity at Fort Liberty in North Carolina is the featured guest lecturer. He will be joined by UTCVM Emergency and Critical Care faculty, veterinary medical residents, and nursing staff. Chumbler completed his veterinary medical degree and his residency in emergency and critical care at UTCVM.

Space is limited and the workshop is only available to K9 handlers and first responders. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the conference. Registration is open and will close on Tuesday, May 28 at 3:00 pm.

The complimentary workshop is provided in memory of Crossville Police Department’s K9 Officer Kain, whose watch ended August 2, 2017, in the line of duty.