Northern Illinois University police officials and DeKalb fire officials say they recently completed a first as far as emergency training sessions go.
The training instructed first responders on how to care for police K-9 units in the event of an emergency.
DeKalb Deputy Fire Chief Jeff McMaster says first responders complete required Emergency Medical Services training every month touching on various subjects. But this time around was a little different.
“We’ve never had this type of training before, so it was new, it was fresh and very engaging,” McMaster said.
McMaster says the NIU police department approached fire officials about K-9 EMS training because they realized there was a knowledge gap on how to treat those dogs and their handlers if something happened to either of them on duty.
NIU Deputy Police Chief Jason John says the Emergency Medical Services training was to make sure the handler and dog are treated properly in the event of an emergency.
“In the event that the officer is incapacitated for any reason, how emergency personnel should respond and react to a situation where this happens is crucial just so that everybody is safe when dealing with these kinds of things,” John said.
McMaster says several potential instances were covered in the training.
“How to treat them for gunshots, how to treat them if they become exhausted, if they’re exposed to illicit drugs – because these were drug dogs and explosives dogs,” McMaster said.
McMaster says the training may become an annual thing. He says DeKalb Police officers observed the training as well.
McMaster and John say they are unsure if any other communities within the surrounding area have completed similar EMS training.