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Providing Prevention Response & Recovery for Animal Emergencies


The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation's (CVMF) Equine Response Unit is the latest addition to the CVMF's family of disaster preparedness and response programs.

Along with the CTSART Program and the developing Veterinary Component of the Capitol Region Medical Reserve Corps, the Equine Response Unit will allow CVMF to address an existing vulnerability, the lack of education and skill in managing equine-related emergencies.

The Equine Response Unit consists of a 20' cargo trailer with bumper-type, towing hitch and a cargo of specialized technical hoisting and rescue equipment designed for the equine. The primary mission of the Equine Response Unit is to disseminate knowledge about equine emergencies and skill in their management to first responders throughout the state. Aimed primarily at fire and EMS departments and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) the Equine Response Unit will facilitate hands on training of the targeted audiences as well as educate the public on disaster issues pertaining to equines.

Dr. Peter Conserva, an equine veterinarian, who serves as the Large Animal Coordinator for the CVMF's disaster programs will lead development of the Equine Response Unit project and serve as its lead trainer. Dr. Conserva's experience with training courses offered by the Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) program, including working alongside Dr. Tomas Gimenez in a TLAER course, makes him uniquely qualified to lead this initiative. Dr. Conserva has personally participated in over a dozen equine rescues and has lectured extensively in Connecticut on equine emergency issues.

Success of the Equine Response Unit project will have been achieved when it is clear that equine emergency response training has been widely disseminated such that first responders across the state feel competent and comfortable participating in equine rescues and achieving favorable outcomes. Such an eventuality will enhance the public safety, achieve animal welfare objectives and make Connecticut better prepared.


Dr. Peter S. Conserva

Dr. Peter S. Conserva

Equine Response Unit