Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT)

Photo: UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT)

UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT)

Responding to animals in disasters and emergencies

The Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT) at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is a volunteer group lead by a core of 4 faculty and staff with extensive experience in animal rescue and disaster medicine.

The VERT Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a separate entity comprised of faculty, students and staff who are interested in learning hands-on skills and providing limited service for local animal emergency response and disaster management when requested by government services. Members of VERT MRC receive training in the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS), animal sheltering, disaster medicine, evacuation methods etc and can become registered Disaster Service Workers. (www.medicalreservecorps.gov/HomePage).

Students at UC Davis created the sVERT club and recruited VERT faculty to provide lectures and hands on laboratories in disaster medicine. 

VERT’s primary role is training. Requests for assistance outside of our call area are dealt with on an individual basis given the limits of the volunteer nature of VERT. VERT is not a 24/7 emergency response unit.

The VERT activities fall under the mission of the University of California, which is teaching, research and service. VERT provides seminars and workshops on disaster preparedness, disaster response, and rescue methods to individuals and agencies involved with animals. The research component involves science based studies to develop protocols for integrated emergency and disaster response, development of equipment used in rescue, and to create local and national guidelines for care of animals in emergencies and disasters.