CHIEVRES, Belgium – The Chievres Veterinary Treatment Facility hosted an international military canine training event in tactical combat injury care for U.S. Army and Air Force military canine handlers, medical personnel and host nation police.
Military working dogs play a crucial role in the military. But more often than not, when they are deployed and injured, their handlers and medical staff are the first on the scene to administer first aid until a veterinarian can provide treatment. Not only must military service dog handlers be trained to provide tactical care to their dogs, all individuals who interact and work with the dogs and their partners must also be trained.
“At the Veterinary Processing Facility, we provide care for the military service dogs to ensure they are ready to deploy at any time,” said Sgt. Kasey Smith, Animal Care Technician at Chievres Veterinary Treatment Facility. “Down in the field, a dog may need emergency care before a vet team is on the scene, so I’m excited to train others on how to practice realistic injury care that they’re comfortable with and able to perform when needed.”
During the training, U.S. Army and Air Force handlers, Brussels Health Clinic medical personnel and Belgian police service dog handlers focused on assessing and treating for massive bleeding, airway obstruction, respiratory distress, circulation, head injury and hypothermia, also known as the MARCH method.
“MARCH is used by TCCC-trained individuals to address the most life-threatening injuries first,” Smith added. “The biggest difference for dog casualty care is an extra “M” at the beginning to represent the muzzle of the military working dog first to avoid accidental bites during treatment.”
Training in tactical combat casualty care is part of the individual critical task lists for medical personnel, but it is focused exclusively on human care.
May. Keith Garcia, officer in charge of the Brussels Health Clinic, was among ten participants from the Brussels Health Clinic.
“None of us have had any experience with military working dogs before this training,” Garcia said. “It helped us build a relationship with the other service branches, but most importantly, we learned how to help when we need it and are more comfortable providing the same level of care to our service members, both canine and human.”
According to Smith, it is important to establish the same baseline of training and knowledge in order to provide support to each other.
“The big difference between our canines and those in the military is that we don’t engage,” said Kris Lucas, a Belgian police officer dog handler. “The kind of injury that our dogs can experience is different than a fight wound, but bleeding or puncture wounds are common. This training was a great opportunity to see different perspectives, share expertise and see what is possible and necessary.”
The 2022 National Defense Strategy states that the United States must prioritize interoperability and have frontline defense medically trained to feel and be skilled in the act of saving the lives of their partners.
Public Health Activity – Rhineland Palatinate provides veterinary support to all military communities in Germany and Belgium, which includes sanitary audits of commercial food establishments and provision of food safety/defense and veterinary medicine.
To support its mission, the activity operates eight Army veterinary treatment facilities in Germany, one in Belgium, and the Veterinary Medical Center Europe – the Army’s premier, forward-thinking role 3 medical and surgical center for military service dogs.
|Issued date:||25.07.2023 05:04|
|Location:||CHIEVRES, BRU, BE|
This work, Chievres Veterinary Treatment Facility strengthens interoperability through trainingby Michelle Thumidentified by DVDSmust comply with the restrictions shown at https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.