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Nero’s Law Practical Training

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) in partnership with Western Mass EMS (WMEMS) are hosting multiple training sessions that fulfill the practical training portion of Chapter 23 of the Acts of 2022 – commonly known as Nero’s Law. Sessions will be held in each of the four counties of western Massachusetts.

Two new training days are scheduled for Berkshire and Franklin County. 

  • Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at Berkshire Community College. Sessions at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.  
  • Saturday, January 13, 2024 at JaDuke Theater in Turners Falls. Session at 9am, 11am and 1pm.

Update Friday, Jan 12 – Registration is closed for all sessions.

These will be the final sessions of the training prior to the February 10, 2024 deadline. We are working on coordinating training in Hampden County, however it likely won’t be until March 2024.

To learn more about the history of Nero’s Law and what to expect at the training, view this video WRHSAC created at a training session in Berkshire County in June 2023.

Per Nero’s Law, ambulance services in Massachusetts are required to assess, treat and transport police K9s injured in the line of duty. All certified EMTs (at all levels) must complete a training course of a minimum of 3 hours (1.5 hours didactic, 1.5 hours practical).

All students must complete the didactic training prior to attending a practical session. The didactic training is available online, on demand. To access the didactic training utilize the following link and passcode:

  • LMS Portal: and take the following steps:
    • Click register and enter your email address and create password
    • Select “Mass EMS Region 1” and
    • Enter code: Reg1WMA-Nero

Bring a copy (paper or electronic) of a certificate of completion of the didactic training to the practical session.

All students will show the following skills for successful completion of the practical training:

  • Demonstrate appropriate assessment, restraint (muzzling) and low-stress handling of injured animals, including the selection and use of commercial and improvised muzzles.
    • Discuss appropriate indications, contraindications, and technique for muzzle application
  • Identify relevant anatomic structures in police K9s and differences from human anatomy
  • Perform physical exam to non-police dog canine, including primary survey/ M3ARCH2 algorithm and to identify trauma (DCAP-BTLS).
  • Demonstrate appropriate pulse checks and vital signs measurement in non-police dog canine.
  • Assess for life threatening bleeding and provide appropriate hemorrhage control interventions, including the use of hemostatic dressings and non-windless style tourniquet devices.
  • Assess for airway obstructions and perform basic life support maneuvers for clearance and to maintain patency.
  • Identify and appropriately manage chest trauma, including the use of occlusive dressings, if razor to shave fur is carried on the ambulance.
  • Identify and appropriately manage shock.
  • Demonstrate assessment and management of cardiac arrest in canines, in accordance with current CPR guidelines, including chest compressions, ventilations using bag valve mask and post resuscitation care.

1.5 OEMS credits will be awarded upon completion.