Horse Council Prepares Roll-out of Fire and Disaster Response Program

May 15, 2006

If a fire or natural disaster were to strike today, would the local emergency responders know about your barn, how many horses are there, buildings, combustibles, water sources, locked gates/pastures or even and more essential… would they even know a barn with living, breathing creatures was there?

The Connecticut Horse is preparing to roll out its HORSE911 program and we look forward to your participation.

Horse 911 is a three (3) part program designed as:

  1. a prevention tool to assist you in preparing your barn to be ‘fire safe’
  2. an effective communication tool to provide local fire/rescue personnel with your facility specifics in case a fire or natural disaster
  3. an educational tool to train horse owners and emergency responders in the safe handling of horses during fire emergencies and other natural disasters.

The program is a grass roots approach headed up by the CHC in partnership with all Connecticut local fire departments, The State of Connecticut Fire Marshals Office, The Connecticut Fire Training Academy, CTSART (Connecticut Animal Response Team), fire, emergency related organizations and associations, horse associations, 4H clubs and most importantly…you…the Connecticut horse owner and horse barn owner.

Formal roll out of the program is anticipated in mid August however we are organizing various program components now. We are seeking the following:

  1. Horse barns throughout the state willing to host regional workshops for firefighters. Each workshop will be a training session to familiarize regional emergency responders with a ‘typical’ barn facility and what may be encountered upon arrival. This training will include horse handling.
    Barn owner must be willing to have 10-25 non-horse people at their facility for approx 3 hours; have various fire equipment brought onto the premise with lights and possibly sirens, suited up firefighter wearing all essential apparatus and a willingness to allow your horses to be led to and from various barn locations  by the firefighters (with trainers present).
  2. Barn owners interested in participating in the RESPONSE component. The RESPONSE component focuses on an information ‘kit’ (supplied by CHC) of valuable specifics on your facility that is layed out by you and forwarded to your local fire department for their planning purposes. This component will be the last component to go ‘live’ as much coordination with local fire departments is underway and must be 100% implemented before kits are sent. At this point in time, we are formulating a list of barns who would like to participate. Upon your request, we will forward information on the entire program and the RESPONSE ‘kit’ portion specifically.
  3. Barn owner’s barns interested in learning more from their local fire departments on barn fire safety including an on-barn fire safety audit.
  4. Individuals wishing to attend various CHC sponsored workshops and seminars on fire safety, natural disaster preparedness, large animal rescue techniques and/or volunteering as a team member for the equine portion of the CTSART – Connecticut Animal Response Team, in the event of a catastrophic natural disaster.
  5. Horse associations and organizations wishing to have a CHC – HORSE911 representative speak before their organization on the program.
  6. Horse related youth groups, associations, schools and private individuals willing to organize donation drives for new and used halters and lead ropes for use at every fire department in the state.

The HORSE 911 program is 100% VOLUNTARY. It is up to you whether you wish to participate in any or all components of the HORSE911 program. This is a diverse program that allows for participation at varying levels. We encourage you to seek more information on the program. Questions and/or information requests or to have your name added to the HORSE911 mailing list may be directed to Halide Caine, CHC Chairperson HORSE 911 at halide@ctequinemassage.com or call 203-676-9826.

As the program nears 100% implementation, further information and press advisories will be provided.

Please visit the Connecticut Horse Council web site at www.cthorsecouncil.org to view program progress

The Connecticut Horse Council is a partner with CTSART,
Connecticut State Animal Response Team
under the direction of
Dr. Arnold Goldman, DVM.

Information on CTSART can be found at www.ctsart.org