Volunteers teach basic animal rescue course in Coralville - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Volunteers teach basic animal rescue course in Coralville

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

First responders like Margaret Crain of Coralville devote countless hours of training in helping keep people safe.

But nothing in Crain's training has ever prepared her for getting a family's pet out of harm's way.  She's discovering, it can be an important part of her job.

"I thought it'd be a good thing to know to have that knowledge and be able to help out if need arises," Crain said. 

Volunteers from a non-profit group in Minneapolis called BART are in Iowa teaching a basic animal rescue course.

The veterinarian-based training is unlike any other first responders have ever experienced.

The course teaches animal first aid and CPR, but the focus is to give first responders the equipment and techniques to get a scared animal out of an emergency situation.

The organization's founder, Janet Olson, says a scared animal in a fire for example can keep a firefighter from getting to the pet's trapped owner.

"Where there are disasters, emergencies there are pets, and pets can pose direct hazards and complicate emergency situations," Olson said. 

Olson says people are more likely to go back in to a burning building to save their pets or refuse to evacuate.

That's where trained emergency personnel can act quickly in getting everybody out safely.

For Crain, she sees value in a pet rescue course becoming a part of every first responder's training.

"Most households have pets and if a family is trying to get out of a fire situation quickly, they may be left behind, and if we're able to save them, we'd like to be able to," Crain said.

 

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