HUDSON – Henry moved around the tables in the Hudson Fire Department’s meeting room. He picked up some treats and a lot of attention from the firefighter/EMTs and ambulance personnel.
On that October afternoon, Henry was more than a cuddly companion. He helped demonstrate where to check a pulse, how best to apply a bandage or tourniquet, where to inject a needle, how to apply an oxygen mask or muzzle.
He was part of a “Nero’s Law” training session conducted Thursday, Oct. 12, by Dr. Karen Patti of Artemis Veterinary.
Passed in 2022, “Nero’s Law” allows first responders to provide emergency medical care to injured police K9s.
The bill was filed after the shooting death of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon in 2018. The 32-year-old police officer was killed when he and other officers were serving a warrant in Barnstable. Thomas Latanowich was later found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting.
Gannon’s K9, Nero, was also shot, but under state law at the time, first responders could not treat Nero at the scene. He had to be driven to a vet.
Patti and Henry were accompanied by Artemis technician Rebecca Metivier and Daisy, a canine mannequin.
Hudson K9 Officer Sam Leandes also attended; his K9 partner, Jocko, appeared during the second half of the training session.
Patti emphasized the importance of having a police K9 handler present when their K9 is injured.
“If the dog is in pain, they will bite,” said Patti.
She taught how to handle several situations, from shock and airway obstruction to CPR and injection sites.
Patti also offered pointers in how to administer Narcan in case the K9 gets exposed to drugs.
After the classroom session, attendees did some hands-on training with Henry, Daisy and Jocko.
“It was good, very informative,” said Patrick Kelleher, who’s been with the Hudson Fire Department for 3 ½ years.
Patti said she’s conducted about 20 trainings through the area since the start of the year.
“These EMTs, they are great people,” she said.