According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, at least five police K-9 animals died in the line of duty in 2020. Indeed, every year these beloved partners are taken by bullets, falls or auto accidents. When humans are injured, ambulances and medical aircraft transport patients in a matter of minutes, which can make the difference between life and death. K-9s typically haven’t been offered the same critical service — until recently.
The Memorial Hermann Life Flight helicopter fleet in Houston is now at the disposal to rush in when a K-9 is seriously injured. Crews can manage an animal’s airway as well as administer oxygen and IV fluids en route to an emergency veterinarian. Plus, the health care organization trained more than 280 K-9 handlers from throughout Texas on emergency aid, including CPR, tourniquets and wound packing.
“Life Flight is the best, so if those guys are gonna show up, there is a chance that your dog, in a few different minutes, could have a life saved,” Houston Police Officer Kristin Uhlin, who lost her partner Sita last summer after 12 years, told Houston’s CBS affiliate.
Organizations from California and New York already have expressed interest in setting up similar programs.