BuCART host Technical Rope Rescue Class

By Julie Clements
Butler County Times Gazette – September 29, 2016

Members of the Butler County Animal Response Team took part in a three-day technical rope rescue class last weekend in El Dorado.

Eight BuCART members were joined by K-9 search and rescue teams, animal control officers, and animal disaster responders from Kansas and Missouri, along with fire/rescue responders from Butler County and students from Butler Community College Fire Science Division for the training, which was put on by Eric Thompson, director of Disaster Response for Code 3 Associates, a national animal disaster response organization. The young girl from Douglass, Sutton O’Crowley, who is BuCART’s youngest member, also was there for part of the training.

“It’s an honor for our team to receive training from an instructor of Eric’s caliber. He is a nationally recognized expert in animal disaster response and always willing to teach our team of volunteers how to help our county’s animals, and their owners, in a disaster,” said Janell Jessup, BuCART team coordinator.

The first day they spent learning how to tie knots and set up relays and riggings.

“We had two teams who pulled a pickup truck,” Jessup said. “They were teaching us how to move high loads.”

Then Saturday they learned more about tying knots and repelled off of the training tower at El Dorado Fire Station No. 2.

That afternoon they worked on animal harnessing and people harnessing. The training concluded with more rigging, knots and harnessing on Sunday in the fire bays because of the rain, as well as learning how to make an emergency harness and muzzle out of a rope.

“This one was the most challenging for us,” Jessup said of this training. “It’s kind of scary taking that first step off the fire tower, but it just deepened out skills if we need to go over a cliff to rescue an animal or go down in a ravine.

“It’s just another skill set that Jim Schmidt (Emergency Management director) wanted his team to have. It allows us to work along first responders if they request our assistance.”

She said this lets other first responders and animal control officers know what the team can do.

“It will help us if we have to pull a horse or a large animal out of ditch,” Jessup said.

Jessup said this training allows them to help in an emergency situation and not be a hinderance.

This training qualified the participants to be a technician for animal search and rescue in rope rescues.

“We have a whole new skill set now among our team,” Jessup said.

This goes also with previous trainings on water rescue and high angle rescues.

The class was made possible by a grant from Butler County Emergency Management. Butler Community College donated the use of a classroom and the new fire training tower.

BuCART was formed in 2012 by citizen volunteers to help the animals of Butler County in any disaster, natural or man-made, and operates under the supervision of Butler County Emergency Management. The team is also part of the South-Central Regional Animal Response Team and Kansas State Animal Response Team. Training is an important aspect for these team members since disaster situations pose a multitude of hazards for humans, their pets and those who may respond to rescue both.

In addition, training alongside local responders and animal control officials offers disaster volunteers the opportunity to share skills and knowledge so they are better prepared to assist those in need when the time comes.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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