New Program Will Supply Similar Emergency Transport For Injured Ok-9s As Officers

Although Ok-9s put themselves on the identical danger as their police handlers, they don’t obtain utterly equal remedy relating to healthcare. These dogs enter crime scenes, chase down criminals, and sniff out lacking individuals and weapons. They are often, and sometimes are, severely injured doing this essential however harmful work.

Nonetheless, when a human officer will get severely injured within the line of responsibility, they’re put into an ambulance or helicopter for quick transport to a hospital. When a police dog experiences similar trauma, their handler locations them behind a squad automotive to hurry by way of visitors to a veterinarian. This methodology permits life-saving minutes to tick by.

Kristin Uhlin, lead Ok-9 coach for Houston Police Division’s narcotic element, believes these dogs deserve extra.

“We seek advice from them as our companions. A dog is there to avoid wasting an officer’s life. If a bullet is fired at an officer, the dog is the one to take it. They’re such wonderful creatures, and so they don’t ask for something in return for the job they do however love.”


That’s why Memorial Hermann Life Flight launched a helicopter service particularly for police dogs in early December. Thomas Flanagan, Memorial Hermann’s Vice President of trauma service line and system integration, defined:

“Everyone knows how essential Ok-9s are. A Ok-9 is integral for legislation enforcement — and the challenges legislation enforcement has to face for our private safety. The Ok-9 is de facto thought of a legislation enforcement officer, who serves and protects the general public.”

About The K9 Casualty Care Course And Transportation Service

In accordance with the Texas Operational Canine Committee, this new program is the nation’s first nongovernment company program to offer remedy and transportation for injured Ok-9 officers. Flanagan mentioned Life Flight will function equally for the dogs as it could for people. The distinction is as an alternative of heading to a hospital, the ambulance will take the Ok-9 to a partnering veterinarian. Every of those places has 24-hour entry and a helipad or designated space for Life Flight to land.


Memorial Hermann additionally offers critical canine care training for officers that features wound packing, CPR, poison management and tourniquet use. Ok-9 handlers be taught which circumstances warrant a name to Life Flight, and on the finish of the course every handler receives a Ok-9 specialised first help package. We Ride to Provide, a company that honors fallen police dogs, donated the primary help kits.

Since spring of 2019, over 100 Ok-9 handlers and 40 emergency medical companies and hearth personnel have undergone the coaching to correctly deal with their injured dogs. With an estimated 200 police canines within the larger Houston space, The Life Flight staff will proceed providing three to 5 coaching courses every month. This program will save many working dogs’ lives!

A Lengthy Time In The Works

Although new, the thought of a service particularly for Ok-9s has been on Memorial Hermann’s again burner since Life Flight was created in 1976. Flanagan defined that the late Dr. James Duke had all the time needed Life Flight, the second air ambulance program within the nation, to increase its companies to Ok-9 officers. Flanagan famous: “That was his purpose and his dream.”

“We’ve been engaged on this for fairly a while. Once you run an air medical program, you’ve received to be laser targeted on what the target is and all that’s concerned. We labored actually exhausting placing this program collectively.”


Although Sita, the Ok-9 who served the division for over 13 years died earlier than this system launched, she ready flight crews as the primary dog to fly on Life Flight. Uhlin takes consolation understanding what number of different dogs will profit from groundwork Sita laid.

“It’s good to know that dogs are incomes the respect they deserve, to be handled on this manner.”

What a good way to thank and value our K-9 heroes!

H/T: Houston Chronicle
Featured Picture: @MemorialHermann/Facebook

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