Learn first aid for your pets, too

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 26, 2014

This is the last article for 2014 and that means the last Do 1 Thing tip. It has been a very informative year with this awesome program. I hope it has been useful to all the readers. Being prepared is necessary for all citizens.

First Aid: Take training in first aid, CPR, AED, or pet first aid. Helping others in a medical emergency isn’t as hard to learn as you might think. Knowing how to apply a bandage, identify the signs and symptoms of shock, perform CPR or use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can save a life. First responders may not be on the scene for five minutes or more. It is up to individuals like you to be ready to help someone who is injured. The person whose life you save may be someone that you love.

Many American Red Cross chapters now offer training in pet first aid. Training may also be available through your local humane society, kennel club, or pet store. Check with your veterinarian to see what special items you may need to include in a first aid kit for your pets. If you travel with your pet, or if they are service or hunting animals, you may want to make a travel-sized pet first aid kit as well.

Contact your local fire department or American Red Cross chapter to learn what first aid classes are available in your area. Ask your employer if they will sponsor a class for your workplace, or take a class with your family or on your own. Many classes are offered free of charge. Courses may also be offered at your place of worship, school, or community organization. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training also includes first aid training.

I have mentioned in previous articles, I attended one-day seminars for Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid. In November, I became an instructor for the youth training and am looking forward to training school personnel and others involved with youth in identifying youth mental health issues. As 2015 approaches, I have been informed that more than 300,000 people have been trained in youth and adult mental health first aid. More people than ever are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide help to the 1 in 5 Americans living with mental illness and/or addiction disorders.


Rob Herbstreith is a Michigan State Police trooper. Questions or comments can be emailed to TrooperRob53@yahoo.com