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1st Horse Rescue Mannikin Developed to Train Rescue Techniques

On Saturday, March 9, 2002 at the Santa Cruz Horseman's Association, there was a rescue demonstration using ‘Lucky" the horse mannikin in several situations such as extricating the horse from a ravine, getting it on a glide and into a trailer for transport. Also "Lucky" was rescued from an overturned trailer, which simulates a vehicle accident. This was an opportunity for the rescue team, paramedics and an equine veterinarian to practice their skills in saving a horse and rider, without the need of a live horse. Craig Jones, President of Rescue Critters! stated; "Our animal mannikins provide realistic training to learn life saving techniques, practice them safely and be prepared for emergency care until they can transport their pet to a veterinarian."

How many times have you seen a horse and rider in need of rescue and people unsure of what to do? Would you know who to call, or what to do in a life threatening situation to make sure they were safely rescued? The riding season is upon us, plus horse shows and events and with millions of horses throughout the world, it is inevitable that some of them will need to be rescued from places like ravines, ditches, collapsed barns, overturned trailers, riding trails, tracks, show rings, or injured in a field. Now for the first time people can be trained how to do horse rescues using "Lucky" the horse mannikin and a rope technique developed by a team of rescue firefighters. "Lucky" is a new life-sized horse mannikin used to safely learn hands-on training of emergency search and rescue techniques. "Lucky" the horse mannikin has articulating limbs, a tail feature as an attachment point, realistic training weight and a height of 15 hands. It will accept standard horse harnesses, glides and gear. "Lucky" can be used in all weather, mud, water and is designed for training indoors or out. It is specifically designed to train emergency search and rescue techniques to fire and police departments, SAR units, military, government agencies, animal control, humane organizations, veterinarians and equine groups. "Lucky " was developed because of the effort of many people who were concerned about horses, how they are rescued, the techniques used and available equipment.

Lucky the horse mannikin being extricated from a ravine

Effective teamwork is critical to a successful equine response, therefore the rescue team performing the demonstration are from the Equine/Large Animal Rescue unit of the Felton Volunteer Fire Department and headed by Captain John Fox. John and Deb Fox, both firefighters, are in the process of developing a comprehensive training manual (State Fire Marshal approved course) on the topic of how to rescue large animals using halters, leads, ropes, parts of hose, strapping, webbing, carabiners and pulleys used in rope rescue operations, assorted other equipment usually found on a fire truck and a Rescue Glide which allows them to move an animal as you would a person on a backboard. An animal can be placed on the glide, then moved into a trailer where it can be transported to a medical facility for treatment.

Did you know most people call 911, or the nearest fire department for help, but not all 911 centers are set up to handle the correct routing? In Santa Cruz County, with one call to 911, a pre-arranged agreement allows for the fire department which can be easily mobilized and dispatched to an equine incident through existing county COM systems and supportive services such as the local animal control agency and a veterinarian to join the scene. Mutual aid agreements allow departments, which take a special interest in Equine Rescue to assist untrained departments. The existing ICS and SEMS systems are ideal support systems which allow the fire department to take control of the situation and acquire resources as necessary in a timely way. Teamwork once again is the most effective tool in a successful response.

"Lucky" is the latest product of Rescue Critters!® brand animal mannikins and adds to the Search and Rescue mannikins which includes "Fetch the Dog K-9 SAR" a perfect training tool for SAR, animal regulations and police K-9 units. The concept of Rescue Critters!® brand mannikins came from realizing that there was a lack of training mannikins to teach people pet first aid skills, pet CPR, training devices and mannikins for veterinary education, and for search and rescue training. Rescue Critters!, LLC is a California based company which produces these innovative, high quality mannikins. Examples for pet first aid and CPR are, "Jerry K-9 CPR" and "CeePeR Dog." They also have "K-9 Critical Care Jerry" and the cat mannikin "Critical Care Fluffy" along with several others for advanced veterinary use. Craig Jones, President of Rescue Critters! stated; "Our animal mannikins provide realistic training to learn life saving techniques, practice them safely and be prepared for emergency care until they can transport their pet to a veterinarian."

Since 1998 Rescue Critters! brand mannikins has continued to expand its’ product line and are now used throughout the United States. Sales continue to grow all over the world and you can find Rescue Critters! brand mannikins in such countries as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Italy, China, and Malaysia to name only a few.

Rescue Critters! has the support of search and rescue, the veterinary community, government, animal educators, humane organizations and the public. With an ever expanding need for veterinary education, public needs, military, police, fire departments, and SAR groups for quality training equipment, Rescue Critters! brand mannikins will grow with new sciences and fill the need for high quality animal training mannikins.

For more information on Rescue Critters! brand animal mannikins contact Craig Jones at 818-780-7860, visit their website at and come to the horse rescue demonstration on March 9th at 1:30 PM, at the Santa Cruz Horseman's Association at 1145 Graham Hill Road, Scotts Valley, CA.

Craig Jones, Rescue Critters!® - Animal Training Mannikins
Phone 818-780-7860
Friday Forsthoff, Animal Voices – An Animal/Pet Marketing and PR Firm
Phone 530-756-9242

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