RAF Mildenhall fire department hosts K-9 TCCC training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katie Mullikin
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England. – The 100th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department partnered with the 100th and 48th Security Forces Squadrons for a Tactical Combat Casualty Care training with a different perspective - on canines, or more specifically military working dogs - at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, Feb. 22, 2024.

The K-9 TCCC training aimed to build readiness for military and civilian fire department members by giving them knowledge and practice in responding to any K-9 medical emergency situation.

“A military working dog can suffer from hypothermia, heat exhaustion and other health issues,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Malone, 100th SFS K-9 section military working dog handler. “Having the fire department respond to these emergency situations with us will give the dog a fighting chance for survival.”

Whether day or night, an MWD can face an emergency medical issue. The handler will treat the dog at the scene, then transport them in a patrol car to the veterinarian clinic on RAF Feltwell. If the emergency happens after work hours, there is a local veterinarian clinic open 24/7 in Mildenhall, where the MWD can receive further medical treatment.

The security forces military working dog handlers receive K-9 TCCC training every six months, but for the fire department, this is the first time they’ve attended the course.

“This training allowed us to gain a new perspective and adapt to all different kinds of situations on base,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Victor Hallett, 100th CES fire department noncommissioned officer in charge of logistics. “We get called out for a wide variety of emergencies, so this training increases our experience to better assist everyone on the installation.”

The course includes hands-on practice on a K-9 manikin known as “Hero Dog,” which can simulate fake bleeding wounds. The emergency responders learned a different aspect of medical emergency care, including massive hemorrhage, airway, respiration, circulation, and hypothermia prevention, also known as MARCH, as well as checking for vital signs and applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation for the fury coworkers.

“The handlers no longer need to rely solely on themselves to provide TCCC to their dog,” said Hallett. “Thanks to this training they will have another pair of hands that can give them support.”

Military working dogs provide a psychological deterrent, security, detection, and alerting capabilities in the tri-base area. They also deploy with their handlers across the world and train daily to stay ready and complete any mission.

“I’m grateful that the first responders were receptive to learning,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Imani Newsome, RAF Feltwell Veterinary Clinic animal care sergeant. “It’s not part of their normal day, but they were excited and engaged.”

With this training, the interoperability and camaraderie between the security forces squadrons and fire department is even stronger, further strengthening a ReaDy Culture in the tri-base area.