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Emergency responders train to better deal with traffic accidents involving livestock

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Car accidents involving livestock have been occurring more frequently in the Mountain State ... especially involving cattle. One county is taking action to make sure their first responders know what to do when it happens.

Friday, June 20 Interstate 77 in Raleigh County was shut down after a truck ran into a tractor trailer carrying several cows. And last fall, nearly 20 cows laid dead on the highway after being hit by several tractor trailers on Interstate 64.

Monday in Greenbrier County, the department of emergency services hosted a seminar to help first responders deal with similar situations.

Members of fire departments, law enforcement and emergency responders attended the class to be better prepared if and when an accident involving livestock happens again.

"It's an industry we all love, and it's an unfortunate part of what we have to do," said Program Organizer Jerry Yates. "But when we train people and we train them right at least we know that we have the ability to make a bad situation a little better."

The class learned how to properly euthanize cattle using either a hand gun or a cattle gun. Class participants also spent time learning how to handle cattle that get loose on the roadway.

"Once we're able to help our first responders understand that we have a different beast, ... and we can explain to them the nature of the beast and how they think and how they interact with us; then it becomes very simple for our first responders to put it into their normal training plan," said Yates.

The Bovine Emergency Response Plan training seminar was free of cost to everyone who attended.  It was paid for by a grant from the Homeland Security State Administrative Agency.