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 comprised of faculty, students, and staff who are interested in learning hands-on skills and providing service for animal emergency response and disaster management. Members of VERT receive training in the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) and become registered Disaster Service Workers. UC Davis VERT is a recognized and fully functional Medical Reserve Corps Unit 1393 (www.medicalreservecorps.gov/HomePage).
VERT may be activated on a local basis to assist veterinarians in the field who need additional expertise and resources in technical rescue or roadway incidents. VERT is linked with the primary responders of the VMTH ambulatory service, which provides veterinary services and emergency response within a defined local radius. Requests for assistance outside of our call area are dealt with on an individual basis given the limits of the volunteer nature of VERT.
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. VERT also provide hands-on, technical assistance with individual animal rescue, disaster response, resources and activities as requested from the Office of Emergency Services.