UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team Students Assist Firefighters on Search and Rescue Missions during the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County

Wildfire-Assistance Activities

Last updated: 10/31/19, 10:35 a.m. PST

October 31, 2019

  • VERT's deployment has been discontinued due to the stable situation at the Sonoma Co fairgrounds with only a few animals needing care that local veterinarians can provide. They will remain on call for the next few days if there are additional veterinary needs. Hayley Dieckmann, Class of 2020, who has coordinated the student team, reported: "The VERT team has been integral to the organized and effective treatment of animals affected by the Kincade fires at the Sonoma fairgrounds. The students have reported an extremely educational experience that has also been very moving. Our deployment was very successful and we are so proud of every faculty, staff and student who participated."

October 30, 2019

  • The VERT team deployed again to Sonoma County with three vehicles carrying veterinarians Drs. Madigan, Costa, Cassano, Scalco, and sVERT students: Siobhan Rickert, Shayna Doyle, Ariana Dubelko, Erik Christiansen, Christina Garcia-Rovetta, Briana Hamamoto, Claire Stuhlmann, and Hayley Dieckmann. One vehicle will be assisting fire and animal control personnel with search and rescue, and the other two vehicles will continue to provide veterinary care at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

October 29, 2019

  • P.M. update: The VERT team arrived home safely after the continued treatment of ongoing patients and evaluated 22 more evacuated animals today at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The search and rescue team was on standby for any needs.

  • The VERT team deployed this morning to Sonoma county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. Drs. Madigan, Costa and Karam each drove a vehicle with SVERT students: Claire Stuhlman, Alena Caswell, Brookley Schamber, Kelly Whiteley, Tara Doherty, Briana Hamamoto, Grace Bloom and Hayley Dieckmann.

October 28, 2019

  • P.M. update: The team did a fantastic job assisting at the Sonoma county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa and treating horses, sheep, pigs, avian species and donkeys. A second team headed by Dr. Madigan collaborated with fire fighters on search and rescue missions.
  • The Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT) deployed to Sonoma county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa this morning in four vehicles, carrying nine VERT students, four faculty members and one resident.
  • Student volunteers: Nicole Vinson, Patrick Cunningham, Amber McElhinney, Marissa Monopoli, Davida Johnson, Zara Thompson, Jen Colangelo, Kimia Nouri and Hayley Dieckmann
  • Veterinarians: Drs. John Madigan, Monica Aleman, Lais Costa, Bruno Karam and Jessica Morgan.

October 27, 2019

  • Our Veterinary Emergency Response Team has been requested to respond to assist at evacuation centers in Sonoma County as of tomorrow. Two teams of student volunteers and a faculty member will depart Davis at 7 a.m. on Monday and another two will depart at 10 a.m. With a high number of animals located at three different evacuation centers, there is a great need to evaluate the health and welfare of animals being sheltered there.
  • Classes will be in session and the university will operate normally on Monday, October 28. Any change to status will be communicated by the UC Davis WarnMe system.
  • Air quality can be checked at the Air Quality Index (AQI) at US EPA Air Now. If air quality is poor, workplaces may have to enact protocols accordingly. Supervisors were sent guidelines by UC Davis HR, and we encourage you to check with your individual supervisor with any questions you may have.

October 23, 2019

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has taken the following steps in response to current fires:

  • The veterinary hospital engaged its Disaster Response Leadership Team and has initiated action to put the hospital on standby. Preparations to accept and treat animal fire victims are in progress.
  • The Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT) is on standby to deploy once an official state/county request is initiated. VERT will respect the first-responders incident command and wait for the official request for deployment to ensure the safety of all involved.

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has multiple online resources for animal owners to prepare for and deal with natural disasters:

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