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Governor’s Emergency Management Leader Visits UC Davis VMTH

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Dr. John Madigan and Secretary Mark Ghilarducci tour the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital on the campus of the University of California, Davis, and evaluate the facility for critical care in a large-scale disaster.

Photo by Kelly B. Huston/Cal EMA

On Tuesday, April 9, the University of California, Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) welcomed Secretary Mark Ghilarducci, of the California Emergency Management Agency. Secretary Ghilarducci’s visit to the VMTH was part of an on-going partnership between the university and the state to address the critical needs of animals in disasters and emergencies.

The Governor’s Emergency Management Agency has recognized the need for public safety agencies to have better knowledge and skills regarding the animal-related aspects of responding to disasters and large-scale emergencies. Tuesday’s visit was an opportunity for the VMTH to showcase its high level of care with multiple species in emergency situations and update Ghilarducci on the accomplishments of their unique partnership.

“Proper planning for emergencies can make a big difference,” said Dr. John Madigan. “People won’t evacuate without their animals, and they expect co-sheltering for pets.”

Dr. Madigan, an expert in animal rescue and head of the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team, is the leader of a program to create training for first responders, emergency managers, shelter operators, animal services, and urban search and rescue teams. The VMTH’s abilities as a leader in veterinary medicine form the basis for that academic and research-inspired curriculum for first responders and emergency planners.

“An example of our emergency curriculum is dealing with the high-risk situation of an animal accident on the roadway (horse or livestock trailer accidents),” added Dr. Madigan. “With proper training and veterinary integration, a safe response is possible, which helps the first responders as well as the animals.”

Dr. Madigan and Secretary Ghilarducci reviewed the curriculum in place at UC Davis and discussed plans for future trainings and outreach in California and throughout the nation.

“We are fortunate to be able to take advantage of the leading experts in veterinary emergency medicine here at UC Davis to develop the best training in the nation for first responders,” said Ghilarducci.  “It’s just a matter of time before we’re hit with another major disaster, and the public expects that we will be prepared to help not only them, but their companion animals.”

Secretary Ghilarducci’s tour of the hospital included stops in the Small and Large Animal Emergency Rooms, as well as the Gourley Clinical Teaching Facility, where two separate rooms house 28 fully-equipped small animal and six fully-equipped large animal anesthesia and surgical stations.

Photos of the Secretary's visit can be seen here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjEEyeJc


Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer
rjwarren@ucdavis.edu