Equine Center provides volunteer certification

Equine Center has organized an evacuation training course with Pierce College where participants will have four days of instruction and be able to finish the program as certified volunteers.  

Dry summer heat and raging temperatures resulted in a brush fire in early July near Calabasas, California where hordes of horses and other various animals were brought to Pierce College for shelter, as reported by Samantha Bravo of the Roundup News for the article, “Equestrian Center takes in animal evacuated from brush fire.”

“It is my understanding that the Equine Center decided to do this because the county of Los Angeles has an urgent need for trained equine response team members,”said Tom Webb, a graduate of Pierce College Horse Science Program and ERT member.  “So, working with LA county department of animal control and Dr. Connolly we were able to put together an extension class to train ERT’s and get them certified by the county.”

The training is going to be classes that are outlined for meeting all the county departments and they’ll be doing a large portion of the classes and training as well.  This will include horse handling for an emergency situation, in essence an evacuation explained Webb.

For the courses to be funded, the Equine Center set the registration fee to $199.  However, to help students who are interested in the extension program, program directors established a method for community members to pledge any certain amount of money to help students pay.

According to Patricia Warner, assistant professor of horse science and community member, we’re able to help with registration fees.

“It’s already done,” Warner said.

Level one course training  will commence on Sept. 24 and end on Sept. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., consisting of horse sheltering operations which focuses on county policies and procedures.  

The level two training on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 is more on hands training although there will be some hands on experience in the first session.  Second level training will consist of horse husbandry- red cross CPR and first aid and horse & livestock identification, horse behavior and handling.

Jessica Sanderson, 22, a equine and Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) major has undergone county training and is certified under level one.

“On the second day, so the last day, there’s supposed to be a mock trial,” Sanderson said.  “What would happen in an event and that would complete my level two training.”

By providing this extension course, anyone who is interested in being a certified volunteer can and then be able to participate. Sanderson explained how she was able to aid in evacuating animals to shelters during the Sand Fire.

“I know for a while the county, being the L.A county, they kind of dropped of a little bit with ERT’s,” Sanderson said.  “I was here one of the nights that they first opened up Pierce but we had a lot of volunteers that wanted to help but unfortunately they weren’t certified so they couldn’t.”