Don’t let an equine emergency catch you off guard. Having basic training and the right tools at hand can allow you to handle an emergency with the clarity and logic required. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death for both the large animal in peril and the human intent on saving it.

Equine Guelph is offering a two-and-a-half day “Animal Rescue Operational Level Course” at the Meaford Fire Department Training Centre in Meaford, Ontario, Canada, Nov. 17 -19.

This course is designed to appeal to a wide audience. Topics covered will be useful for first responders, pre-service, law enforcement, animal control officers, veterinarians, vet. technicians, emergency animal response teams, horse owners, livestock producers, associations, and more. All registrants must be 18 years of age. The course will be subject to registration numbers and the hands-on participants will be limited to 30 students.

Presentation topics will include:

  • Fire and emergency preparedness;
  • Trailer safety;
  • Animal containment methods;
  • Introduction to mud and trench rescue;
  • Working within the incident command system;
  • Medical concerns during emerging situation; and
  • Livestock behavior in stressful situations.

Lead instructor Victor MacPherson said he looks forward to the training opportunities that will be afforded by running the course in late November, “we will be training in realistic conditions with real-life scenarios—both daytime and nighttime operations.”

MacPherson has been involved with Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) since 2013 and has completed several training courses in both awareness and operational levels. He has assisted in training and facilitating courses with both Equine Guelph and Rebecca Gimenez, PhD, of TLAER Inc. He has been involved in operational rescues.

MacPherson has been with the Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department for the past 24 years and district fire chief for past 19. This municipality covers 400 kilometers (roughly 250 miles) and runs approximately 250 calls a year, from community service to house fires and car accidents.

He is also an employee with City of Vaughan Fire as a master emergency vehicle technician for past 17 years. MacPherson is ex-military as a retired Master Corporal attached to armored units and acquired his military mechanics license for armored vehicles. He has serviced with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Europe.

The registration fee is for $295 + hst for participants and $175 + hst for auditors. Find more information and register at

If you have questions related to the course please contact Susan Raymond, PhD, at or 519/824-4120 ext 54230.