Livestock Emergency Response Unit

This article is courtesy of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta

Livestock Emergency Response UnitYou are driving down the highway with three horses in your trailer, when suddenly a truck appears out of nowhere heading right for you. You swerve, hitting the ditch, and over goes your unit, ending in a crumpled mess. A nightmare for anyone who hauls horses down the road, or any livestock for that matter!

The police, ambulance and fire truck are called and soon arrive. And the fire department pulls up with its Livestock Emergency Rescue Trailer which contains all sorts of equipment and trained first responders to get your horses out of your mangled trailer. You are very fortunate to be in an area which has one of these Rescue Trailers.

These trailers are under a program of Alberta Farm Animal Care, and financed by the Federal and Provincial governments by the Growing Forward plan. Some have partial or total local financial support (such as Rural Crime Watch).

The first two trailer were set up in Red Deer and Ponoka, and there are now trailers in the MD of Willow Creek (Claresholm); Cypress County (Medicine Hat); Westlock County (Westlock); Vermilion River County (Vermilion); a more recent one in Hanna; a roving one with the SPCA.

And now Leduc County has a trailer, completed and in operation in the fall of 2013, funded by the EQUINE FOUNDATION OF CANADA. The trailer is housed at the New Sarepta Fire Hall which is located east of Leduc on Hwy. #21.

The Equine Foundation funding includes the equipment needed in the trailer such as: livestock panels and gates; generator with extension cords; metal cutting circular saw and blade; electric metal shear; ladder; pitch fork, spade, flat shovel, crow bar; hand tools such as pliers, cutters, hammers; tarps and tarp straps; lariat and various ropes, halters and lead shanks; scene lighting; snow fence; and much more.

Lakeland College at Vermilion has added a course especially for the first responders who man these special trailers. The call for help may come from highway accidents which range from a single trailer to a cattle liner with thirty-fourty head of cattle; or incidents such as barn fires; severe flooding such as was experienced in southern Alberta last year; or maybe a matter of livestock loose on a highway.