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Equine Guelph develops fire prevention & large animal rescue training resources for first responders July 2019

Story by: Jackie Bellamy Zions

Lameness assessment using the Equinosis Q Lameness Locator equipment donated by EFCGuelph, Ontario – The need for training in prevention and preparedness is highlighted with every media report of yet another horrific barn fire. Equine Guelph has announced it will be providing online resources on barn fire prevention and large animal rescue for all first responders and fire departments across Ontario available at:

The free “workshop in a box” contains everything needed to deliver a comprehensive fire prevention workshop for farm owners. PowerPoint presentations and handy checklists make it easy to take the information out into the community. When awareness is not enough, face-to-face, expert-led delivery of this important information could break down sociological barriers for the livestock and equine industry and help large animal owners take preventative actions on their farms.

“This web page is a wonderful resource with well thought out powerpoints, checklists and links for barn safety,” says Dianne Kyle, Fire Prevention Officer for Severn Fire & Emergency Services. “I especially like the interactive quizzes as these promote ‘think safety’ for anyone that participates.”

Also available is a large animal rescue resource kit which includes online resources (reference sheets and videos) to be used after participating in Equine Guelph’s Large Animal Emergency Rescue technical training sessions. These handy references of rescue protocols and techniques are meant to be used as a refresher for quick reference.

To date over 280 first responders have completed specialized training in Large Animal Emergency Rescue hands-on workshops from Equine Guelph. Great feedback has been received from first responders and fire stations who have hosted the Large Animal technical training sessions from Equine Guelph.

"This training is of benefit for all fire departments to help their communities," says Chief Scott Granahan, Rideau Lakes Fire Rescue.

"Many commendations have been made by past participants thanking the instructors for coming and providing important training on the use of specialized rescue equipment to significantly mitigate risks and improve the odds of a favorable outcome for both animals and responders in rescue situations."

These hands-on Large Animal Emergency Rescue training sessions are ongoing. For more information about the course, please contact Susan Raymond (

“Equine Guelph is pleased to assist first responders in the critical areas of barn fire prevention and large animal emergency rescue,” says Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker. “Any knowledge transfer that aids in horse welfare and well-being is top priority for Equine Guelph.”

For more information on these new resources available for first responders visit

Equine Guelph would like to thank all the funders, partners and contributors for their valuable support on this project and for sharing the vision of achieving large animal welfare through education and training.

Collaborating partners include: Ontario Equestrian and Ontario Racing.

Other industry partners include: Equestrian Canada, Farm & Food Care Ontario, Intercity Insurance Services, Meaford Fire Department Training Centre, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Ontario Veterinary College, Professional Livestock Auditing Inc., Standardbred Canada, and Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.

This project was funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of the Partnership in Ontario.