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Tactical EMS trained to help Winnipeg police dogs injured on duty

Specialized Winnipeg paramedics who provide support to the police tactical support team are now able to provide emergency care for dogs in the K9 unit.
Specialized Winnipeg paramedics who provide support to the police tactical support team are now able to provide emergency care for dogs in the K9 unit. Global News

The same specialized Winnipeg paramedics who provide pre-hospital care to the police tactical support team are now able to provide emergency care for police dogs from the K9 unit too.

Winnipeg police and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service announced the new training for tactical EMS paramedics Friday.

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“Although no one wishes for anything to happen, this initiative has created peace of mind for K9 unit handlers to know that medical aid is close-by and available prior to, and en route, to a veterinary care facility in the event a dog is injured,” said Winnipeg police spokesperson Const. Jay Murray.

Ron Keelan, district chief of paramedic operations and tactical EMS coordinator, said while there have been no incidents where the dogs have needed medical attention at the scene while tactical EMS has been present, there have been close calls.

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A Winnipeg police dog and her handler at Friday\’s press conference.
A Winnipeg police dog and her handler at Friday\’s press conference. Diana Foxall/Global

He said the specialized training the EMS members received included learning to administer Naloxone to dogs exposed to illicit drugs.

“Thankfully our [tactical EMS] paramedics have not had to care for an injured dog, but there have been several situations where the potential is definitely there,” he said.

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“We are very pleased to know that we are able to do what we can to support our K9 partners.”

The training came through consultations with police, paramedics, the K9 unit and tactical support units, as well as the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association and two Winnipeg veterinary hospitals.

Dante, retired Winnipeg Police dog, serving at Bell MTS Place
Dante, retired Winnipeg Police dog, serving at Bell MTS Place