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An Unexpected Pet Emergency. An Unexpected Response.THE MONUMENT FIRE:
THE MONUMENT FIRE 29,746 acres in Arizona 1,179 people assigned to the fire, including  27 crews, 92 engines, and 7 heli...
WHO WE ARE -   Kathryn Honda, Hospital Administrator, New    Frontier Animal Medical Center, Sierra    Vista, AZ.     Ro...
WHAT WE DID…   Over fourteen days we provided    shelter, food, water and medical care to over    350 pets belonging to o...
WHAT WE DID (CONT.)   One of several private Veterinary    Hospitals, Boarding Facilities, and Riding Clubs    providing ...
WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID…   Most boarding facilities and Veterinarians who    offer boarding for pets do so as part of thei...
WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID (CONT.)   New Frontier and all three Annexes were in the    center of town and not in evacuation z...
OUR CHALLENGES…   Lack of infrastructure!    Communications, documentation, and    equipment were all issues.   Lack of ...
OUR CHALLENGES (CONT.)   Speed of response: Most of the agencies that    we thought would have been involved were not    ...
WHAT WE LEARNED…   Each facility needed to have a plan but we    also needed a local plan so we could    understand our r...
WHAT WE LEARNED (CONT.)   That cats are a much bigger issue than dogs.   That management of shelters, not just    medica...
WHAT WE LEARNED (CONT.)   That we have a great community that can do amazing    things with no planning and little foreth...
QUESTIONS?   Kathryn Honda, Hospital Administrator,    New Frontier Animal Medical Center, Sierra    Vista     T: (520) ...
Thank you!
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
The Monument Fire
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The Monument Fire

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Presentation given at the Southern Arizona Regional Animal Emergency Response Workshop held at Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson on 4/24/2012

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The Monument Fire

  1. 1. An Unexpected Pet Emergency. An Unexpected Response.THE MONUMENT FIRE:
  2. 2. THE MONUMENT FIRE 29,746 acres in Arizona 1,179 people assigned to the fire, including 27 crews, 92 engines, and 7 helicopters. First reported June 12, 2011 at 1 p.m. On June 24, 2011 all evacuations lifted. 40 homes destroyed!
  3. 3. WHO WE ARE - Kathryn Honda, Hospital Administrator, New Frontier Animal Medical Center, Sierra Vista, AZ.  Role during fire: Overall Coordinator for New Frontier’s pet evacuation centers. Mike Falconer, Hospital Manager, Casa Grande Animal Hospital, Casa Grande, AZ.  Role during fire: Deputy Coordinator, pet inventory management.
  4. 4. WHAT WE DID… Over fourteen days we provided shelter, food, water and medical care to over 350 pets belonging to owners who had been evacuated. At the height of our efforts we had three “annexes” as shelters in addition to New Frontier’s facility. Many staff were evacuated themselves. No preparation.
  5. 5. WHAT WE DID (CONT.) One of several private Veterinary Hospitals, Boarding Facilities, and Riding Clubs providing low cost or no cost shelter for pets. Through the Southern Arizona Veterinary Managers Group (SAVMG) we were able to request and receive medications, supplies, and personnel. Managed a significant general public volunteer force. We never lost a pet in our care.
  6. 6. WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID… Most boarding facilities and Veterinarians who offer boarding for pets do so as part of their business. New Frontier was offering services outside of their normal business model. The need, within a couple of days, outstripped what New Frontier’s facility could handle which ultimately led to three annexes temporarily donated by a local realtor.
  7. 7. WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID (CONT.) New Frontier and all three Annexes were in the center of town and not in evacuation zones – unlike some of the commercial facilities, one of which had be evacuated at the height of the fire. There was a need and we filled it! Most facilities did not get into the pet evacuation business on purpose – just a natural extension of business as usual.
  8. 8. OUR CHALLENGES… Lack of infrastructure! Communications, documentation, and equipment were all issues. Lack of formal agreements and organized personnel structure for this kind of event. No official role: We could only advise commercial operations on pet care. We had no authority to say conditions are not good enough or to transfer pets.
  9. 9. OUR CHALLENGES (CONT.) Speed of response: Most of the agencies that we thought would have been involved were not involved at all until too late. It was difficult for commercial operations to donate to other commercial operations for tax reasons. Liability and general costs of this type of incident could be significant for a private business. Monument Fire cost New Frontier around $20,000
  10. 10. WHAT WE LEARNED… Each facility needed to have a plan but we also needed a local plan so we could understand our role and responsibilities and how we could work together. We needed to become part of the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) for incidents that will involve pets.
  11. 11. WHAT WE LEARNED (CONT.) That cats are a much bigger issue than dogs. That management of shelters, not just medical care and attending to basic needs, is extremely important. That tracking and documenting pets becomes critical very early on.
  12. 12. WHAT WE LEARNED (CONT.) That we have a great community that can do amazing things with no planning and little forethought – just imagine what we can do if we start planning and truly put our minds to the problem! We know that animals are a lower priority response wise. However, we must remember that pets are treated as children in most Americans homes, therefore people want them cared for. If the Monument Fire taught us nothing else, it would be that practices and the SAVMG have a role to play and we will end up playing that role whether we plan for it or not.
  13. 13. QUESTIONS? Kathryn Honda, Hospital Administrator, New Frontier Animal Medical Center, Sierra Vista  T: (520) 459-0433  E: khonda@juno.com Mike Falconer, Hospital Manager, Casa Grande Animal Hospital, Casa Grande  T: (520) 836-5979  E: mfalconer@nvanet.com
  14. 14. Thank you!

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