London Fire Brigade Donate Life-Size Horse Model for Student Training at RVC in Recognition of Support from the College
22 March 2012
In 2001, the London Fire Brigade approached the Royal Veterinary College for assistance in training their firefighters in handling large animals. This resulted in the development of the first collaborative training programme of this type between a fire service and a veterinary school, and for the past 11 years, the Royal Veterinary College has delivered a programme of large animal handling training for the London Fire Brigade. In recognition of this, the LFB have donated a life-size horse model to the RVC, to be used for student training.
The model horse has been named "Fireman Sam" by the students. Fireman Sam was officially presented to Vivienne Heys, the member of staff who organised and participated in the training throughout the entire 11 years, and to student trainers Vikki Wyse and Emma Howson, on Thursday 22nd March, by London Fire Brigade Group Manager Andy Cane, Station Manager Mark Spier and Watch Manager Jim Wennell .
Andy Cane confirmed how valuable the training has been for the London firefighters and how much the crews have enjoyed their visits to the Royal Veterinary College.
Vivienne emphasised that this programme would not have been possible without the students who have given their time on Wednesday afternoons to help firefighters learn the skills required when working with horses and cattle, and she also praised the staff who have volunteered their time and skills to keep this programme running for 11 years.
After the presentation Andy, Mark and Jim chatted with students in the Clinical Skills Centre, where Fireman Sam was already in use by a student perfecting leg bandaging skills.
The presentation was followed by a tour of the Equine Diagnostic Centre which allowed the visitors to see digital X ray equipment and view the CT scanner which allows a standing horse to be examined . Diagnostic imaging techniques were explained by one of the RVC's Clinical Training Scholars. The fire officers were impressed by the scale of the operating table required for equine surgery, the hoist system required to position an equine patient, and the padded recovery loose box. The tour ended with a walk through the barn where students explained the care being given to the equine patients, two of which were due to return home that day following successful treatment.
Notes for editors
- The Royal Veterinary College is the UK's first and largest veterinary school and a constituent College of the University of London. It also provides support for veterinary and related professions through its three referral hospitals, diagnostic services and continuing professional development courses. www.rvc.ac.uk
- The RVC's Clinical Skills Centre (CSC) was the first of its kind in the UK and as such has become the blueprint for other veterinary schools setting up similar centres. www.live.ac.uk/html/CSC.html
- The London Fire Brigade are the third largest firefighting organisation in the world, protecting people and property from fire within the 1,587 square kilometres of Greater London. www.london-fire.gov.uk/
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The Royal Veterinary College
Established in 1791, the RVC is the UK’s longest-standing veterinary college—with a proud heritage of innovation in veterinary science, clinical practice and education.