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MEDIA ADVISORY--Training for K9 Air Transport Under Nero's Law

UMass Memorial Medical Center, Life Flight, Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog, Massachusetts State Police to Hold Training for K9 Air Transport Under Nero’s Law

WHEN: Thursday, July 13, 2023, 10:30 AM/11 AM

(There are two components, a Life Flight helicopter departure from UMass Medical Center for a simulated call at approximately 10:30, and the helicopter’s arrival at State Police Headquarters at approximately 11 AM for the actual training exercise with medical personnel and MSP and local police K9 teams. Media are invited to cover either component of the training.)

WHO: UMass Memorial Life Flight Air Medical Transport flight crew and medical team.

Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog, an independent all-volunteer non-profit that provides bulletproof K-9 vests, equipment, funding for training, and dogs for law enforcement in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Police Special Operations Section and K9 Unit.

Charlton Police and Longmeadow Police K9 teams.

WHERE: Two locations, media may cover at either one.

  • Media who wish to cover the flight preparation and take-off from UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester should report to the Remillard Lobby, University Campus, 55 Lake Ave. North, Worcester. Please be on site by 10:15 AM. RSVP for this location to Debora Spano at 401-258-3081.

  • Media who wish to cover the helicopter landing and K9 air medical transport training exercise should report to Massachusetts State Police General Headquarters, 470 Worcester Rd. (Route 9 east), Framingham. Please be on site on Front Company Street (the road within the Headquarters compound that runs directly in front of the main entrance) by 10:30 AM. Parking is available on either side of the building. No RSVP required.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: UMass Memorial Medical Center, Life Flight, Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog, the Massachusetts State Police, and several local police departments will hold a training exercise tomorrow focusing on transporting injured police dogs by Life Flight helicopter. The training scenario will begin at approximately 10:30 AM when a simulated call for service is placed to Life Flight at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. A Life Flight crew will then initiate an emergency response and will take off for Massachusetts State Police General Headquarters in Framingham. The helicopter is expected to land at MSP GHQ at approximately 11 AM. There, multiple MSP and local police K9 teams will be standing by. One at a time, each team will undergo a simulated preparation and loading for air transport of their “injured” dog. Several teams will run through the scenario. The helicopter will not actually take off with a dog aboard during the training exercise. The patient preparation training will all take place on the ground.

Media are invited to cover the training. Media may cover from either the Worcester UMass departure site or the air transport training site at MSP GHQ in Framingham. Participants at the GHQ exercise will be available for interviews after the training.

The air ambulance transports are made possible by Nero’s Law, the state law passed in 2022 that allows ambulance providers to transport police dogs injured in the line of duty to a medical facility. The first police dog transported under Nero’s Law was MSP K9 Frankie, who gave the ultimate sacrifice trying to apprehend an armed suspect in Fitchburg in July 2022.



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