Animals can get help from EMTs in emergencies if Ohio bill passes

Animals injured in events such as house fires will be able to get aid from first responders, if a bill that passed the Ohio House becomes law.

“Previously EMTS and paramedics were not able to treat animals because their scope of license prevented them from doing that,” said State Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, who is vice chair of the House Health and Aging Committee. The bill was reported out of the committee on Wednesday.

Under the bill, first responders would be allowed to administer oxygen, stop bleeding and give other aid to animals once humans at the scene are treated. Police animals injured during drug sweeps or other events could also be treated.

“The bill does say that first humans and then animals, so no person will be neglected,” Huffman said.

The bill would not allow people to call 911 to have their animals treated for an injury. First responders are only allowed to aid an animal when they are already on the scene of an emergency that also involves people.

The licenses for first responders could be at risk if they treat animals currently.

The bill now heads to the state Senate.

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