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This presentation details the elements and process used by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association in cooperation with regional government to build human resources for animal response capacity via the Citizen Corps CERT Program

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  1. 1. CERT: A Mechanism For Animal Response Capacity Building 2009 National Conference on Community Preparedness: The Power of Citizen Corps August 11, 2009 Arnold L. Goldman DVM, MS Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation
  2. 2. CT Hurricane Tracks: 1851 - 2005
  3. 3. Overview of Issue: Safeguarding the public in a disaster may require evacuation Safe and orderly evacuations require attention to the needs of the evacuees, as they themselves perceive them (“special needs”) The status of domestic animals has evolved with many Americans cherishing their animals as they do human family members
  4. 4. Overview of Issue: Ignoring the needs of animals inhibits evacuation, is a public relations disaster for emergency management and creates unnecessary complications for recovery A credible, credentialed capacity to manage animal issues in disasters must be created in advance, in as thoughtful a manner as are all other response capabilities
  5. 5. Government’s Interest in Animals In Disasters : • Government is responsible for the publics health & safety in evacuations. • Failure-to-Evacuate due to animal ownership is an acknowledged concern. • Government now shares responsibility for evacuee-owned household pets in evacuations. • While the primary concern is overwhelmingly about people, it is recognized that protecting pets helps protect people.
  6. 6. Magnitude of the Challenge •59% Households Include Companion Animals •Average of 2.6 Animals Per Pet-Owning Household •If 10% of Evacuees Seek Public Shelter: 50 Animals Per 100 Persons
  7. 7. Legal Requirements & Incentives Pet Evacuation & Transportation Standards Act of 2006 Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 State & Local Legislation: CT, CA, FL, HI, IL, LA, ME, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY,TX, VA, VT
  8. 8. Pet Evacuation & Transportation Standards Act of 2006
  9. 9. “PETS” Act “the (FEMA) Director shall ensure that such (state & local) plans take into account the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency.”
  10. 10. Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006
  11. 11. PKEMRA “Authorizes the provision of rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs to individuals with household pets and service animals and to such animals.”
  12. 12. Understanding Connecticut Home Rule State 169 Municipalities & 2 Tribal Nations No County Government 5 Preparedness Regions
  13. 13. Understanding Connecticut After 1958 After 1970
  14. 14. Connecticut Preparedness Regions Voluntary !
  15. 15. Connecticut Authority •Municipal Participation in Regional Collaboration Is Voluntary. •Example: “CREPC”: Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) represents 29 cities & towns. CRCOG administers preparedness collaboration for the Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee (CREPC) which represents the 29 CRCOG cities & towns, plus 12 more.
  16. 16. Connecticut Public Act 07-11 “An Act Concerning Evacuation of Pets & Service Animals”
  17. 17. Connecticut “Pets Act” No town or city of the state shall be eligible for any state or federal benefits until such town or city has submitted to the commissioner an emergency plan of operations which includes: (i) measures to be taken in preparation for anticipated attack, major disaster or emergency, including (ii) the nonmilitary evacuation of the civilian population, pets and service animals;
  18. 18. Connecticut Animal Planning Companion Animals Regionally Addressed Food Animals & Livestock Addressed by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture: Lead Agency in Animal Disease Emergencies •Foreign animal diseases in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture •Zoonotic diseases in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Public Health
  19. 19. Companion Animal Response Public-Private Partnership
  20. 20. Animal Response Elements: What Resources? Why CERT? • Credible Leadership • Volunteer Responders • “Insurable” Training & Credentialing • Mission Specific Equipment • Integrated Command Structure
  21. 21. The Veterinary Profession’s Duty • The late Calvin Schwabe, an internationally known veterinary epidemiologist, in his book “What Should A Veterinarian Do?”, argued that a veterinarian’s education conferred a broad responsibility to share our expertise with society.
  22. 22. Veterinarian’s Oath • Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. • I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. • I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.
  23. 23. Professional Responsibility Veterinary students are taught that “Professional Responsibility” refers both to the responsibility of the profession, as well as to the individual professional. A sense of an obligation of service is inculcated throughout the veterinary curriculum Leadership in animal welfare and public health are encouraged as the way to fulfill this collective responsibility.
  24. 24. Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association • Professional society of 630+ veterinarians. • Represents >90 % of Connecticut’s practicing veterinarians. • Primary functions include providing professional education, professional networking and subject matter expertise to individuals and organizations.
  25. 25. Connecticut State Animal Response Team Program • CVMA collaborates with state & local (regional) government, to sustain the Connecticut State Animal Response Team Program (CTSART). • The CTSART program utilizes CERT as its fundamental organizational framework. • CTSART is composed of five CERT’s, each operating as a Regional Animal Response Team.
  26. 26. Credible Leaders…
  27. 27. Preparedness Region 1 Dr. Sheldon Yessenow Region 1 ART Team Leader Mr. Richard Fournier DEMHS Region 1 Coordinator
  28. 28. Preparedness Region 2 Dr. Chris Gargamelli Region 2 ART Team Leader Mr. Roy Piper DEMHS Region 2 Coordinator
  29. 29. Preparedness Region 3 Dr. Arnold L Goldman Region 3 ART Team Leader Mr. Thomas Gavaghan DEMHS Region 3 Coordinator
  30. 30. Preparedness Region 4 Dr. Dennis Thibeault Region 4 ART Team Leader Mr. Anthony Scalora DEMHS Region 4 Coordinator
  31. 31. Preparedness Region 5 Dr. Donna Cobelli Region 5 ART Team Leader Mr. Robert Kenney DEMHS Region 5 Coordinator
  32. 32. Volunteer Responders…
  33. 33. Volunteer Responders •Typical CERT Member Wants to Help In Any Way Able •Many (59%) Own Animals Themselves And Intuitively Understand the Importance of the Issue •Many CERT Members Willing To Add Animal Response to Their Local CERT Repertoire •For Citizens Already Passionate About Animals, The Animal Response Mission Is What Attracts Them to CERT
  34. 34. Connecticut Municipal CERT’s
  35. 35. Volunteer Responders Multiple Sources of Volunteers: •Existing CERT’s •First Responder Community •Animal Control •Veterinary Associations •Veterinary Technicians & Assistants •Dog & Cat Club Members •Equine & Agriculture Organizations •Animal Welfare Organizations •Members of the Public
  36. 36. “Insurable” Training & Credentialing • Connecticut Title 28 Defines the Legal Framework in Which Civilian Volunteers May Serve Government in Emergencies • The Connecticut Attorney General in a July, 2006 finding, clarified for the Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management that CERT qualifies as a Title 28- protected “Civilian Preparedness Force”
  37. 37. Civilian Preparedness Force • “During training and participation in civil preparedness activities, Title 28 provides compensation for death, disability or injury.” • “Volunteers are immune from liability for actions taken in the course of their civil preparedness duties, except for willful misconduct.” • Title 28 Protections apply to trained, credentialed CERT volunteers during further training, exercises or deployments, only when these activities are officially sanctioned.
  38. 38. Training…
  39. 39. Training… Basic CERT Animal Behavior, Safe Handling & Restraint Animal First Aid Animal Agriculture / Animal Disease Overview Bio-safety & HazMat / PPE Awareness
  40. 40. Mission Appropriate Equipment…
  41. 41. Equine Response Unit Dr. Peter Conserva Equine Response Unit Large Animal Coordinator Basic Training for Municipal CERT’s, Community Groups, Municipal Fire Departments and Public Outreach
  42. 42. Integrated Command Structure
  43. 43. Integrated Command Structure
  44. 44. Mission…
  45. 45. Mission…
  46. 46. Operations One Goal is to Minimize Labor Intensive & Hazardous “Rescue” CTSART MRC-VC Field Search & Evacuation Triage Assessment “Rescue” Veterinary Shelter Services Assessment ACO Authority & Co-located Triage Request Responsibility primary veterinary resources evacuation Assist human medical care shelters Large animal rescue teams response Facilitate Feeding / hygiene Evacuate transfer for animals as higher level care Secondary workload shelters permits
  47. 47. CTSART CERT Summary • A Credible, Flexible Programmatic Framework • Integrates With State, County & Local All Hazards - - All Disciplines Planning & Response Mechanisms • Utilizes the “Local Response is First & Best” Principle of Emergency Management • A Good Fit For Public-Private Animal Response Teams, as Common Training Ensures People-First Focus •Utilizes Available Subject Matter Expertise in Leadership
  48. 48. Helping People By Helping With Their Animals More Information: Make Contact at: