WESTBOROUGH — Chief Patrick Purcell reports that Westborough Fire was the second department in the state to transport an injured police K-9 via ambulance under Nero’s Law.
On Monday, Dec. 19, at approximately 1:45 p.m., Westborough Fire and local public safety partners were dispatched to I-495 South in Hopkinton for a report of a crash. Westborough firefighters/EMTs were the first to arrive on scene and found State Police Trooper Kenneth Hanchett and his K-9 partner Orry suffering from injuries. It was later determined that the pair were inside their cruiser working a road detail when they were struck from behind by another vehicle.
Westborough Fire transported Trooper Hanchett in one ambulance to a local hospital and K-9 Orry in another to Tufts Veterinary Hospital in North Grafton. Trooper Hanchett and Orry were evaluated and later released from their respective hospitals on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The transport was made possible by a state law passed this year — Nero’s Law — which now permits ambulance operators to treat and transport police K-9s. The law is named after K-9 Nero, the retired partner of the late Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Steven Xiarhos (R-Barnstable) and Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). Prior to the passage of Nero’s Law, emergency medical providers were forbidden from rendering aid or providing transport for K-9s injured in the line of duty.
“Due to Nero’s Law, public safety officials are able to ensure that police K-9s receive immediate treatment and medical attention when suffering a line of duty injury,” Chief Purcell said. “We are honored to be involved in one of the very first uses of this law and are humbled to play a small part in representing and paying tribute to the memory of Sgt. Gannon. We are also happy to hear that Trooper Hanchett and K-9 Orry are doing well in their recovery.”
The first use of Nero’s Law occurred in July after a Massachusetts State Police K-9 was provided emergency care after being shot by a suspect in Fitchburg.
The Massachusetts State Police expressed deep gratitude to Westborough Fire for the excellent care and transport provided to both Trooper Hanchett and Orry. State Police noted that Westborough Fire’s assistance contributed to good outcomes for the pair.