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Trainings & Education

Our goal is to make our home, Sonoma County, and all rural areas, safer for animals and humans in emergencies and disasters. Find information here for on-line learning, real-time trainings, workshops, and other education opportunities. Updated frequently as trainings are added.

Training Opportunities

During COVID most in-person trainings have been cancelled or postponed. As online trainings are scheduled, they will be posted here. Please check frequently.

Trainings for Large Animal Rescue/Animal Technical Rescue are posted here. You can also find information, or in-person trainings, on Instructors websites, see Training Resources below.

Volunteer Animal Responders trainings: To learn about, or sign-up for, Animal Disaster Response volunteer opportunities, see the Community Animal Response Team (CART) resources listed, or find a CART in your area.

Also, check with your local Animal Shelter(s) or Humane Society for volunteer and training opportunities. Skilled animal shelter volunteers are in great demand during disasters to help care for pets, equine, and livestock.

CERT, (Community Emergency Response Team): Many CERT teams train to add Animal Disaster Response skills. Many Animal Disaster Response groups require volunteers to have CERT training. To learn about CERT and NERT programs, go to www.ready.gov and type in CERT. You can also check you County's Emergency Services or "Ready" website.

FEMA/EMI online education for Animal Disaster Service Workers and other volunteers: Most jurisdictions require Animal Disaster Responders, and other volunteers, to complete courses in basic Emergency Management and the Incident Command System, (ICS). Seem FEMA online training section below.

Equine Handling for Firefighters and First Responders (Videos)

This series of videos for firefighters, forest service, and law-enforcement officers was developed to help first responders be safer in situations involving equines. Our goal is to help you extricate animals safely when the urgent need arises, when there are no experienced animal handlers on scene. The lessons demonstrated incorporate basic principles of risk management and scene safety with basic safe equine handling and behavior awareness.

1. Introduction to Horse Handling for Firefighters
2. Horse Movement and Situational Awareness
3. Horse Safety and Situational Awareness
4. Approaching, Haltering, and Leading a Horse
5. Leading a Horse
6. Nighttime Awareness

Basic Training for Volunteers

For information about continuing education opportunities visit the links below:

Animal Disaster Service Worker (A-DSW) Program
Disaster Service Workers (DSW) are volunteers who provide disaster relief service during a declared disaster. Disaster service is designed to aid in the response and recovery phases in a disaster emergency. It does not include day-to-day emergency response activities typically associated with, for example, law enforcement, fire services or emergency medical services. In a disaster, Animal DSW volunteers are requested by the agency having jurisdiction for animal rescue and care. To learn more check with your local Animal Care and Control agency, or national and international programs that provide Animal Disaster Response assistance.

Many regions have a Community Animal Response Team, (CART), and some CERTs also provide Animal Disaster Response. Look for the CART and/or CERT in your area.

The Large Animal Rescue Co. provides professional training in Technical Large Animal Rescue (TLAR).

Huff Technical Training specializes in animal handling/behavior technical training for first responders in all fields of disaster response.

UCD-IAWTI seeks to share and disseminate animal welfare knowledge with universities, veterinarians, first responders and the general public.

UCD-CEH is joining forces with the Western Institute for Food Safety & Security (WIFSS) and the International Animal Welfare Training Institute (IAWTI) at UC Davis to develop a training program for first responders and community volunteers.

WIFFS Animals in Disaster Courses will help prepare first responders and community members for animal related emergencies.

READY MARIN Marin County CERT and Get Ready programs teaching residents how to get prepared in case of a disaster or emergency.

RedRover Responders Volunteer Training - Specially trained RedRover Responders volunteers shelter and care for animals displaced by natural disasters and rescued in criminal seizures from cruelty conditions, such as puppy mills or hoarding situations.

Red Cross of Northern California Volunteer Opportunities - Every dedicated Red Cross volunteer makes a positive difference. We invite you to explore the many volunteer opportunities available.

HALTER Scholarship

To request a HALTER Scholarship, please provide the following information:
Name, Email, Cell Phone, Agency, Area of Residence, Skills and Capabilities, ICS 100 and 200 Yes/No

Email to: rescue@halterfund.org

Online Trainings

FEMA IS-10.A: Animals in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness

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Online Course. This course is intended to help animal owners, care providers, and industries to understand incident management.

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FEMA Emergency Management Institute

FEMA IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction

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This course introduces and overviews the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.

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FEMA Emergency Management Institute

FEMA IS-100.B: Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100

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Note: IS-100.b is an updated version of the IS-100.a course.

ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

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FEMA Emergency Management Institute

Animal Technical Rescue - Awareness Level Course - Univ of FL- VetMed

The course addresses topics covered by NFPA Standards 1670-17 and 1006-17.

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The estimated amount of time needed to complete this course is 7 hours.

No prerequisites are necessary for individuals participating in this course. This is the first in a three-part series: Awareness, Operations, and Technician Level.

This course seeks to provide training for individuals who may serve as first responders in an animal technical rescue scenario, including but not limited to: firefighters, police officers, animal control officers, and veterinarians. It may also be of interest for pet and livestock owners.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

IS-200.B: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

ICS 200 is designed to enable personnel to operate efficiently during an incident or event within the Incident Command System (ICS). ICS-200 provides training on and resources for personnel who are likely to assume a supervisory position within the ICS.

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The Emergency Management Institute developed ICS its ICS courses collaboratively with:

  • National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • United State Fire Administration’s National Fire Programs Branch

Note: IS-200.b is an updated version of the IS-200 course. If you have successfully completed IS-200 or IS-200.a, you may want to review the new version of the course. For credentialing purposes, the courses are equivalent.

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FEMA Emergency Management Institute

FEMA IS-317: Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams

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This lesson provides an overview of the CERT role in disaster preparedness and response. It also covers what you will learn in other lessons about CERT organization and activities.

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FEMA Emergency Management Institute

FEMA IS-111.A: Livestock in Disasters

This course combines the knowledge of livestock producers and emergency managers to present a unified approach to mitigate the impact of disasters on animal agriculture.

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FEMA Emergency Management Institute

FEMA Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT)

To learn about the types of responder resources that are requested and utilized in disasters, study the FEMA Resource Typing Library (RTLT).

Each Resource type has specific training requirements. Studying the RTLT will help you determine the best way for you to train as an Animal Disaster Responder.

The Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT) is an online catalogue of national NIMS resource typing definitions, job titles/position qualifications and Position Task Books (PTBs).

Resource Typing Definitions are provided for equipment, teams, and units. They are used to categorize, by capability, the resources requested, deployed, and used in incidents. Measurable standards identifying resource capabilities and performance levels serve as the basis for this categorization.

Job Titles and Position Qualifications are used in the inventorying, credentialing, and qualifying of personnel. Credentialing is essential in validating the identity and attributes (e.g., affiliations, skills, or privileges) of emergency personnel.

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FEMA Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT)

All-Hazards Health & Safety Awareness AND Fireline Safety Awareness

Course covers hazard recognition and assessment in disaster situations such as fires, floods/landslides, earthquakes and others. As well as power line safety, propane/natural gas safety and other hazards you may encounter. The second part of the training will cover basic incident management organization, general wildland safety and basics of fire behavior.

All Hazards Health & Safety Awareness AND Fireline Safety Awareness Courses

Fire & Emergency Prep Barn - ONLINE COURSE

This ONLINE COURSE is intended for horse owners, trainers, racetrack personnel, and facility owners – anyone who is interested in best practices to prevent fires in their barns/facilities and to be prepared for all manner of emergency situations.

This course covers an overview of barn fire prevention including the top causes of barn fires and practical ways that horse owners can reduce these risks.  Emergency preparedness will also be a focus including identifying potential emergency threats in your region and developing a disaster plan.

Instructor : Dr. Susan Raymond, Equine Guelph Faculty
Guest Expert : TLAER cofounder Dr. Rebecca Husted

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