Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER TM) is not disaster medicine. It is not field (ditch) medicine. TLAER does NOT refer to “rescue” of neglected, starving or abused animals – although many of the techniques may be utilized on those types of scenes or in rehabilitation facilities. It is the practical considerations behind the safe extrication of a live large animal from entrapments (trailer wrecks, ditches, mud, barn fires) in local emergencies and disaster areas.
The principles behind using slings, webbing and ropes for animal transport are not new. In many countries, a large animal represents a huge financial investment and even someone’s livelihood. Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, Inc. offers training nationwide (United States) and internationally for emergency response services, such as fire departments, rescue squads, law enforcement agencies, emergency management, county and state emergency response teams and animal control officers. The course is structured to educate those who are not members of a branch of emergency services, such as veterinarians, large animal facility operators, animal rescue organizations, large animal transporters, and large animal owners.
These courses are designed with a concentration on livestock and horses, being the most encountered large animal at an emergency incident; however the term “large animal” doesn’t have a precise definition - commercial livestock, exotic animals, zoo animals, etc. In a TLAER incident…always “Expect the Unexpected”! There are stacks of videos, personal accounts, social network photos, and newspaper articles that have been collected by the TLAER instructors that testify to the commonality of these types of rescues. In addition to technical rescue operations, the tactics taught and used are very applicable to cruelty investigation cases.
What does TLAER require that makes it special? Large animals are different – they do not follow rules of physics or chemistry – but instincts of fight or flight under fear and stress. Innovation is often required by rescuers as each incident and rescue operation is different than the last one. Prevention, Safety and Education is a huge theme of the TLAER courses because as animal owners and stakeholders learn to prevent the common types of incidents, focus can be shifted to the unusual and highly technical ones.
TLAER as a "Specialty Form of Heavy Rescue" is a new idea within the fire service in the last 20 years. Over the last two decades, as the occurrence of large animal incidents became more common, branches of emergency services have begun to respond to such calls for service as the public has adopted a "911 Call Does It All" mentality. With the increase in the number of incidents involving large animals, the need for specialized training in the field of TLAER was exposed and more people expressed a need for AWARENESS and OPERATIONAL level training within this specialty.
What the TLAER training course does is bring together (in two to four days, depending on the training course level) all of the latest concepts, techniques, procedures and equipment being used today. The primary instructors search, communicate and distribute with people all around the world and by doing so they are able to develop innovating tactics, techniques and procedures to share with their students. TLAER, Inc.’s ongoing research and development, focus on simple and practical applications, and with improvements suggested by our highly qualified students. The courses are updated constantly – allowing students to learn the most current methods and equipment in each course.
In several locations in the US, there are specific TLAER trained response teams that are available to respond to large animal rescue incidents. Each squad or organization has their own response protocols, equipment cache, and policies. These departments, organizations, and teams have invested in some of the specialized TLAER equipment necessary to more easily perform these rescues. They have in some cases developed and normally follow TLAER Standard Operating Procedures/ Guidelines learned during the course when responding to large animal incidents. Many of them have discovered that their TLAER equipment is useful for moving extremely large HUMAN patients, too!
TLAER teams can be operated privately, through emergency management services, through rescue organizations, or other entities; with understanding that the members attached to the responding agency or organization have been certified through TLAER, Inc. and have had the other mandatory certifications required to perform a large animal rescue and must not act outside their certification or scope of practice. Some of the TLAER teams can be found on the "RESOURCES" page of this website. If you cannot locate a TLAER team in your area, please contact us or speak with your local emergency management agency about contacting us to schedule a training course in your area.