K-9 teams, first responders learn how to keep police dogs safe

K9 officers are essential assets for protecting and keeping the community safe, police say.

That’s why K9s United, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit, teamed up with Triad Medical Training Wednesday to host a medical training workshop for K-9 teams and first responders across Northeast Florida.

“The officers are learning here how to treat an injured dog and the point of injury prior to getting to the vet. How to stabilize a traumatic bleed, decompress for injuries like bloat, treating trauma and heat-related issues,” said Matt Casey, owner of Triad Medical Training.

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He says it’s important for officers to learn how to treat the most probable causes of death.

“In 2022, the leading cause of death was traumatic gunshot wounds followed by heat-related injuries,” Casey said.

In each station, an officer got the opportunity to learn life-saving skills that could save a the dogs while out in the field.

“We provide first aid kits, bulletproof vests. Anything to help them to do their jobs the best that they can,” said Debbie Johnson, founder of K9s United.

“Before you go to a Jags game, or before anybody in the public goes to a Jags game guess who’s there? K9s,” she said. “The K9s sweep the whole stadium before anyone ever goes in there to keep you safe…they do a bomb sweep. The least we can do is to help protect them and keep them safe.”

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