KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — First responders spent the day at UT's Veterinary Medical Center learning valuable K9 first aid training.
This was the event's second year and all in memory of a fallen Crossville K9 officer.
If K9s were to get injured on the job, this training would provide support until the animal was able to get to a veterinarian. More than 40 first responders from nearly 10 different agencies took time to learn these life saving skills.
"Maybe Cain's death wasn't in vain," said licensed veterinary medical technician Leslie Wereszczak.
Two years ago, one Crossville K9 officer paid the ultimate price. K9 officer Cain died from stab wounds after chasing a suspect.
In his memory, the emergency and critical care service at UT's College of Veterinary Medicine holds a workshop to teach first responders how to provide care to a k9 until it reaches a vet.
"Perhaps because Cain paid the ultimate price that some of these people can learn some of the techniques to save their dogs life," said Wereszczak.
"We really want this to be more like a thoughtless process, this is a reactive process," said medical resident Shane Chumbler who worked with the group on wound management.
"If they have a wound to their abdomen, chest a major bleeding would and what are the first aid things they can do at the time of injury," he said.
Other stations, led by students and US Army Veterinary Corps officers taught first responders bandaging, IV catheter placement, and CPR.
"We have fire departments here, EMS, paramedics, search and rescue teams, police officers, dog handlers because in the event of an emergency it's a team effort and each of them can bring something to the table to potentially save a life," said Wereszczak.
The teams took the time to learn now, to save a life down the road.
"It's heartwarming to see them want to learn these life saving techniques," she said.
In Tennessee, it's a class E felony to kill a police or fire service animal.
K9 officer Cain's killer was sentenced to six years to serve, the maximum allowed in the state.