Speaker Profile


Rebecca Husted
United States
Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue
Large Animal Rescue - Technical Review of Case Studies

Livestock and horses are involved in various types of wrecks, mishaps and disaster incidents globally. Often these occur as a result of human management or influence (i.e. transport incidents, flooding, mud entrapment, wildfire, barn fire, etc.) This presentation will examine a recent variety of incidents as Case studies with a technical perspective as to outcomes measured in animal welfare, mitigation benchmarks, response considerations, and human risk. Then, each example will be reviewed to demonstrate improvements and how best practices could be implemented in each phase (prevention, mitigation, and response).

Rebecca holds a BS in Biology from Wofford College, a PhD in Animal Physiology from Clemson University. A past Biology adjunct professor, her current scientific research interests include a national survey of barn fire causality and improving fire prevention standards for animal facilities, study of animal physiological responses to Technical Rescue procedures and equipment, and investigation into horse neglect and cruelty cases. Her first book on Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue was published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2008, with chapters in several veterinary textbooks.

Currently the Public Information Officer and Support Fire Fighter for the City of Gray Volunteer Fire Department, Georgia, a past Logistics Officer for Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT -2), and served 28 years US Army Reserves with a 2006 combat tour in Kuwait and Iraq as a Communications Officer. She retired as J6 Communications staff lead for multi-agency coordination in military and disaster exercises at US SOUTHERN COMMAND, Miami, FL in 2016.

She gives training in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAERTM ) techniques across the US and Internationally. She leads the USA in innovative ideas, methodologies, her understanding of complex human factors involved in large animal rescue aspects, and facilitates an online Facebook study group of 13k+ global members featuring 13 administrators to discuss and share techniques in applied large animal rescue and disasters related to large animals. She serves as an advisor for numerous graduate and veterinary school students, serves on various committees (including the Equine Welfare committee for PATH, International), teaches online courses in horse behavior and welfare, and hosts TLAER working students at her farm in Georgia.

She is a Principal member of the Technical Committee of the NFPA Standard 150 Animal Housing and contributes to numerous other NFPA committees and others defining technical competencies for large animal rescue around the world. Her expertise in research & development of numerous technical procedures and techniques has been honed by teaching her privately owned animals to participate (lay down on command, lifted in slings) without sedation. They have taught her so much about behavior in TLAER situations both good (useful behaviors) and bad (destructive and dangerous ones.)

She has published numerous critiques, protocols and refereed journal articles on a variety of technical subjects in large animal disaster and emergency rescue, authored chapters in two leading veterinary textbooks related to TLAER, and spends enormous amounts of time educating people from all walks of life about better methods to assist animals from blogs to social media.

She trains and trail rides her 6 horses using Natural Horsemanship methods, is active in various organizations – especially disaster preparedness, cruelty investigations of animal abuse and environmental degradation /greenspace issues. She lives on 20 acres in Macon, GA with her animals and married her enchanting husband, Mark Husted in 2018.

Rebecca also gave a second presentation at GADMC 2021 on The Reality of Fires and Veterinary Facilities.