Programs: TLAER Training

Since 2006, the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation’s (CVMF) Large Animal Rescue Training Unit has promoted education and training for firefighters and other first responders in the techniques of “technical large animal emergency rescue”, abbreviated as “TLAER.” Dr. Peter Conserva, an equine veterinarian from Suffield, CT, leads the Unit and imparts the knowledge and skills to safely rescue large animals in hazardous circumstances. TLAER was co-originated by Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, who continues to teach its methods across the country.

Supported by CVMF funded equipment, Dr. Conserva uses that equipment to train first responders in the techniques of TLAER, helping them become self-sufficient in large animal rescue. This specialized equipment includes both commercially available tools and materials, as well as other specialized equipment fabricated by Dr. Conserva. Trainees are instructed how to obtain what they need and how to fabricate equipment that is otherwise commercially unavailable.

Using lectures, demonstrations and hands on exercises the Large Animal Response Training Unit has provided technical training to responders in numerous Connecticut communities including Branford, Brooklyn, Clinton, Colchester, Danbury, East Granby, Glastonbury, Granby, Guilford, Groton, Mystic, Pomfret, Ridgefield, Suffield, Torrington and Windham in recent months.

Common reasons for the necessity of large animal rescue include barn roof collapse, entrapment in confined spaces or environments such as swimming pools, ditches, mud or on ice, as well as trailer accidents, barn fires, and remote location trail accidents in rugged terrain. The need for large animal rescue occurs throughout the year, with no way to predict when and where accidents may occur.  Prepared responders are therefore necessary across the state to enable the best chance at successful outcomes. Most fire departments have a need for ongoing training as new volunteers are brought on board.

CVMF’s Large Animal Rescue Training Unit is the only one of its kind in Connecticut, and it fills an essential need. With equipment acquisition and program development ongoing, we are dependent on funding provided by the generosity of our donors.