OSU Veterinary Center Hosts Disaster Relief Training

The two-day event focused on the horse and how to help equids in the event of a disaster.
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The Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Veterinary Health Sciences recently hosted veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and disaster relief providers from Oklahoma and Louisiana for a disaster response and training boot camp. The two-day event focused on the horse and how to help equids in the event of a disaster.

Training team members included Dan Burba, DVM, Dipl. ACVS; Mustajab Mirza, DVM, MS; and Rebecca McConnico, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, and Neely Walker, MS, PhD, an equine extension specialist from the state of Louisiana. All are members of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team—a public-private partnership joining government agencies, humane organizations, agriculture organizations, the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, and business partners that have the common goal of animal health issues during disasters.

“The goal was to provide training to emergency responders involved with horses,” explains organizer Todd Holbrook, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, June Jacobs Chair and equine section chief at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. “We discussed the development and core competencies of a functional animal emergency response team and introduced attendees to the incident command system (or ICS) training system used by (the Federal Emergency Management Agency). Many organizations involved in animal rescue require completion of this training.”

Holbrook said the focus was on safety for both responders and horses as attendees participated in hands-on exercises including field extraction techniques using a full size equine mannequin, affectionately called Mayhem

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