South Shore EMS Hosts Police K9 Treatment and Transport Class

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Kristen Perfetuo
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A veterinarian from Weymouth VCA stands in front of a classroom teaching first responders basic K9 first aid

More than 50 EMT’s, paramedics and other first responders recently gathered at South Shore EMS headquarters in South Weymouth, Mass. to learn how to administer life-saving care to police K9’s injured in the line of duty.

The new training is a requirement under Nero’s Law – a Massachusetts bill that allows medical personnel to perform emergency treatments on K9s, including basic first aid, CPR and other lifesaving interventions.

 “This training is just another example of South Shore EMS’ commitment to ensuring comprehensive and compassionate care to all members of our community, including our law enforcement K9 partners,” said Eugene Duffy, Director of South Shore EMS, part of South Shore Health. “Now, our first responders can deliver swift medical treatment to police K9’s and potentially save the lives of those who protect and serve.”

On Thursday, October 20, South Shore EMS in collaboration with Weymouth Police Department hosted the first of several trainings for their colleagues and other first responders in neighboring communities hoping to fulfill the required education.

Nero’s Law began to take shape after the tragic death of Yarmouth, Mass. Police Sergeant Sean Gannon – who was shot and killed while serving a warrant at a Barnstable home in 2018. Nero, his K9 partner, was shot, but survived.

At the time of Sgt. Gannon’s death, Massachusetts law did not allow for Nero’s critical injuries to be treated by emergency medical personnel.  The new law now permits EMTs and paramedics to offer emergency medical treatment and transport of K9 partners, including first aid, CPR and the anti-overdose medication naloxone.

Under the new requirements, the group of first responders listened to an informative lecture by a certified veterinarian from the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital (Weymouth), and took part in hands-on training with several K9’s from the Weymouth Police Department. EMTs and paramedics of all levels must complete their training by February 10, 2023.

Watch this video on the recent training session hosted by South Shore EMS in collaboration with Weymouth Police Department.

Learn more about South Shore EMS.