Many Technical Large Animal Rescue (TLAR) skills require specialized equipment and responders who have very specialized training and expertise. When a large animal emergency incident goes wrong, it can result in devastating, and occasionally fatal consequences to animals and people.
Why are TLAR Teams Important?
Most public safety responders (fire / law enforcement) are not sufficiently trained in handling large animal incidents. Their primary areas of responsibilities are greatly different and staying current in those responsibilities already require significant training commitments. This lack of TLAR training has resulted in assorted responder injuries, the most sobering being the accidental death of CHP Officer Dana Paladini when he and a Deputy Sheriff attempted to resolve an accident involving a horse trailer.
The most practical solution was to develop specially trained and equipped Technical Large Animal Rescue (TLAR) teams specifically designed to deal with accidents involving large animals and also evacuations of large animals during wide-area emergencies.
Several volunteers in Douglas County have trained and respond to incidents, however they have historically relied on equipment responding from south Washoe County or Lyon County. In 2001 the South Washoe unit, "Rescue 1," was decommissioned and its equipment sent to Lander County. Subsequently incidents in the US-395 counties (Douglas County, Carson City, south Washoe County) relied on equipment dispatched from central Lyon County. The result was that proper equipment for an emergency in Douglas County has to come from two counties away.
Presently the Douglas County TLAR volunteers are undertaking an effort to replace the original Rescue 1.
The new unit is based in the north Gardnerville area. The new Rescue 1 will be available for reasonably rapid response along the greater US-395 corridor and surrounding areas.
Rescue equipment certified for use for large animal rescue is not cheap. While many hand tools and supplies can often be opportunistically acquired, rescue slings, glides, certified rope rescue gear and other specialized equipment are expensive. The team has created a GoFundMe page to raise funds to purchase these "big ticket" items."
The unit currently covers Douglas County, south Lyon County and adjacent California counties and additional volunteers willing to train and respond are always welcome.
This is an all-volunteer project. The success of their work is dependent upon the resources that they have available and a viable support system.
There are several ways that you can help.
- Help fund equipment through the team's GoFundMe page.
- Consider donating used but serviceable industrial tools you might have laying about.
(Pry bars, cutting tools, hand tools, life vests, safety harnesses, etc.)
- Volunteer to train and become a credentialed Technical Large Animal Rescue Responder.
- Volunteer to assist with non-technical support activities.
These programs are community based. If you wish to become involved, have equipment to donate or wish to know more about the specialized equipment that the fundraising campaign will pay for, please contact
Wayne Woolway, Rescue-1 Unit Captain.