In cooperation with the Texas Animal Health Commission, the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has recently developed a mobile Veterinary Emergency Team to respond to disasters that affect animals statewide.
The new team is deployable under the state animal response plan in a disaster situation where there is need for additional veterinary assessment, triage and care. Currently the team consists of 13 A&M faculty, resident veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary students who have completed a disaster medicine elective. It is fully self-sufficient with its own lodging, food, generators and supplies for responders. The team’s equipment includes two large climate-controlled tents, one multi-purpose trailer and one clinic trailer with limited surgical capability. The team also has obtained trucks to haul trailers and equipment, as well as an ambulatory medicine truck. Team members are divided into strike teams that can be targeted at either large or small animal issues.
The Texas A&M V.E.T.s’ first field exercise was held April 23-25 in College Station. While it is still finalizing the acquisition of necessary supplies, the team is ready for the 2010 hurricane season. Under the animal response plan, this team will deploy with TAHC field personnel in a large-scale disaster and will work under the same incident command structure.