Law enforcement agencies say the number of police K9 injuries and deaths are on the rise across the country. That prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo to pass a new law allowing EMS providers to use their ambulances to transport dogs to emergency vet care.
A paramedic with the Town of Tonawanda Police Department will be teaching other first responders how to treat an injured police dog.
"There could be times I could be incapacitated, something could happen to me, and the dog might need attention," explained Brent Costello, the K9 Officer with the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.
Those in the training program will learn about the anatomy of a dog and measures that could help injures or even save their lives.
"They go where officers can't, they're trained to detect things that the human can't detect," said paramedic David Rice, about just one reason these dogs are important. Rice will be teaching the course.
While first responders will not learn invasive procedures, they will learn procedures that could help with bloat, CPR and even the use of Narcan.
"I've had canine's in the past that have gotten into drugs that they're searching for, have inhaled or ingested that and become intoxicated from that, and they need to be treated," said Rice.
The course will take place at Twin City Ambulance in Amherst. It has received so many requests that organizers are talking about a second training session for more emergency responders.