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Massachusetts State Police Sgt. David Stucenski (right) explains muzzle techniques to MassBay Community College EMS students, Framingham, MA, February 2023 (Photo/MassBay Community College).
MassBay Community College EMS students practice CPR on a dog mannequin, Framingham, MA, February 2023 (Photo/MassBay Community College).
Veterinarian, Dr. Alexis Zallas, works with MassBay EMS students to learn how to find an accurate pulse on a dog mannequin, Framingham, MA, February 2023 (Photo/MassBay Community College).
Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka (middle) poses with MassBay EMS faculty members and Health Sciences Dean Lynne Davis (far left) at the Nero’s training at MassBay’s Framingham campus, Framingham, MA, February 2023 (Photo/MassBay Community College).
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (February 15, 2023) — MassBay Community College is believed to be the first Massachusetts institution of higher education to integrate first-aid training for dogs into its Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedicine academic curriculum in response to Massachusetts’ Nero’s Law.
In April 2018, Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon was killed in the line of duty, and his K9 police dog, Nero, suffered life-threatening injuries when they were wounded serving an arrest warrant. Unfortunately, because of state law at the time, Nero could not be treated nor transported by EMS. In response, Nero’s Law was signed by Governor Charlie Baker in April 2022, which permits emergency medical personnel to transport and to provide emergency medical treatment to K9 officers.
On February 7, 2023, MassBay’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) students participated in a specialized Nero’s Law training for students in the EMT and Paramedicine programs. Students learned simulation techniques on actual dogs and on dog mannequins to understand how to clear a dog’s airway, find a pulse, correctly muzzle a dog, render first-aid, CPR, and other lifesaving interventions, as well as work with the K-9 officer's handler to prepare for emergency situations.
“We are excited to offer this specialized training to our EMT and paramedic students,” said MassBay EMS Program Director Joe Murphy. “This was an effective and timely training, and we thank our community partners for their assistance in ensuring our students and faculty are prepared for all emergencies. Our goal is to proactively introduce this to prepare our students to provide the highest quality care when they serve their communities. We are proud to be the first to integrate these key skills into our EMS curriculum.”
“Emergency medical service (EMS) providers have taken on an unpredictable, sometimes challenging, and always important role which keeps people safe in our communities,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “Thanks to the initiative of Director Joe Murphy, the EMS Department at MassBay Community College is the first in the state to implement canine safety training based on Nero's Law, which is ensuring that EMS departments are prepared to provide emergency services to K9 partners. I’d like to thank the veterinarians and EMTs whose work is keeping us, and our furry friends, safe.”
“This was an eye-opening experience, and I think this unifies us as a community of first responders,” said MassBay Paramedic student Meghan Lukianov of Framingham, MA. “I’m definitely better prepared now to respond to a call for an emergency with a K-9 officer, having learned these skills today. This training has given me the opportunity to feel confident taking a call like this, and I look forward to continuing to learn these types of skills in the future.”
The training exercise involved MassBay faculty, three veterinarians, two veterinary techs, and Massachusetts State Police Sgt. David Stucenski, and his new State Police K-9 partner Zekk. In July 2022, Sgt. Stucenski and his K9 partner Frankie responded to a police standoff in Fitchburg, MA. During the standoff, Frankie was shot and killed in the line of duty after a suspect opened fire on officers. Because of Nero’s Law, Frankie was the first K-9 in Massachusetts to receive emergency treatment and transport by Fitchburg EMS.
Veterinarians Dr. Karen Patti, Dr. Alexis Zallas, and Dr. Kathleen Kanjer, as well as veterinary technicians Jennifer Hurteau and Amy Oliver assisted with the training demonstration. Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka gave opening remarks to kick off the training.
MassBay offers a 10-week Certificate program, which prepares graduates to pass the National Registry Certification examination and obtain state licensure as an EMT. MassBay’s Paramedicine Certificate prepares students for careers in Emergency Medical Services as Paramedics in the fire service, private agencies, hospitals, and other settings in private and public service areas upon completion of coursework and national certification exams for EMTs.
MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations RegisteredNursing.org, and PracticalNursing.org. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond