Did you know that there are estimated to be over 1500 horses in San Juan Capistrano? During an emergency or disaster, taking care of large animals requires advance planning and individuals who know how to handle and move animals to safety. That is why the City of San Juan Capistrano is including emergency animal response and evacuation operations in our disaster planning. LART is made up of volunteers who will respond to help evacuate and shelter large animals, such as horses, during emergency situations. Team members have completed the basic LART course which includes an extensive large animal handling training program to work with animals in difficult situations.
There are four (4) basic phases of LART training.
Phase 1 – LART Procedures & Administrative Functions at the Sheltering Site
This phase of training provides an overview of the LART program, policies, and procedures with a focus on the possible duties that may be assigned a volunteers performing administrative functions in the LART program or at a sheltering site. Phase I LART training consists of only lecture. Volunteers who complete the LART Level I lecture will be classified as LART Level I volunteers. LART Level I volunteers will not receive any hands-on training in the handling of horses or other large animals and they are not authorized to handle animals at sheltering sites or participate in evacuation duties. LART Level I volunteers may receive additional training regarding the administrative functions required of a volunteer during a team activation, at a sheltering site, or during public presentations on disaster preparedness for horse owners. Volunteers who satisfactorily complete this level will be eligible to assist with administration, communications, record keeping, and paperwork at sheltering sites and during LART Team activations. Additionally, Level I volunteers may assist with public presentations involving the LART functions or disaster preparedness.
Phase 2 - Basic Large Animal Handling & LART Procedures
This phase provides training necessary to demonstrate the basic skills necessary to safely handle large animals, with an emphasis placed upon horse handling. This phase also provides an overview of the LART program, policies, and procedures specifically addressed to the handling of large animals.
This phase is designed to provide basic horse-handling training to both the experienced equestrian and the volunteer how has no experience with horses or large animals. Volunteers who successfully complete both the lecture and hands-on training portions of Phase 2 training will qualify as a LART Level II Volunteer. LART Level II volunteers will be authorized to handle horses and other large animals at sheltering sites.
Phase 3 – Advanced Large Animal Handling & Trailer Loading
This phase provides training necessary for the volunteer to safely and effectively lead a horse or other large animal through obstacles commonly encountered in the evacuation process, and provides the skills and techniques necessary to safely load horses into trailers. The training incorporates both lecture and hands-on practical application in which each volunteer is required to load horses into a variety of different trailer styles. The training also provides information to allow horse owners to adequately prepare for potential future disasters where additional assistance may not be available, or may be delayed. volunteers who have successfully completed Phase 2 training, and have qualified as LART Level II Volunteers are eligible to take the Phase 3 training. Phase 3 training is open to LART Level II volunteers who both individually own horse trailers, and individuals who do not personally own trailers, but wish to qualify and participate in LART Level III duties and assignments. Successful completion of Phase 3 of LART training will qualify the participant as a Level III LART Volunteer.
Phase 4 – Vehicle and Trailer Operations
This training phase is designed to provide the volunteer with the information and techniques required to develop the necessary skills and abilities to safely drive their vehicle while towing a horse trailer. The training consists of both lecture and hands-on exercises that will evaluate the individual participant’s skill and ability to safely maneuver their vehicle in exercises designed to replicate emergency evacuation vehicle operations. A Level III LART volunteer who successfully completes Phase 4 training will be qualified as a LART Level IV volunteer, who is authorized to operate his/her own vehicle and trailer during evacuation assignments. LART Level IV volunteers who are operating their tow vehicle and trailer during an event will be designated as “Trailer Team Leaders”.