Equine Rescue Techniques (ERT) is a horse-training course offered by Trail
Riders of DuPage for first responders, typically police and fire departments.
In the past 15 years TROD has trained more than 800 emergency personnel.
To contact TROD about ERT e-mail ERT@trod.us.
What is ERT?
The Origin of ERT
ERT began in response to a highway accident with a horse trailer. The
horse had its legs stuck inside the side windows of the trailer. The firefighters
on the scene planned to use a large wrecker to upright the trailer
and then remove the horse. The rescuers did not want to injure the animal,
but they simply did not know what to do.
The ERT course was created in 1994. The course primarily focuses
on emergencies with loaded trailers in traffic accidents and is presented
to area emergency personnel—police and fire departments.
In October of 2007, there was an accident with a semi truck loaded with
59 horses in Wadsworth, IL. Prior to the accident TROD presented an ERT
course at Sunflower Farms in Bristol County Wisconsin, less than ten miles
from the scene of the accident.
Hands-on work with horses
The first half of the class teams two students with an instructor and
a horse. Students learn to handle their equine partner, halter and lead,
improvise halters and navigate obstacles.
Typical horse behaviors, both relaxed and under stress, are explained
and demonstrated. The second pass through the obstacle course is more
challenging and gives the students a feel for the quickness and strength
a horse commands.
The second half of the class focuses on horse trailers. Students are given
a chance to climb around and inspect a variety of trailer types from the
smaller two-horse to long-distance semi-tractor rigs.
Key discussion points include construction and destruction of trailers,
how to approach and investigate the trailer and what you should and should
not do until the vet arrives.
Each participating department receives a resource guide for their dispatch
desk which covers: (1) the course material (2) lists of large animal veterinarians
and emergency stables by location and (3) emergency haulers.
The course has received wide acceptance from police, fire and animal rescue
communities. The Equine Rescue Techniques is being taught across the country
by other organizations (initially trained by TROD) that recognize its
For further information please email ERT@trod.us.
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