MS Veterinary Strike Team

This team is designed to be deployed to the disaster site immediately after an event to establish support for local veterinary infrastructure and local animal shelters as requested through the ICS system. This team will be integral in meeting local needs during the time before other state and federal resources are available. Members of this team must be willing to leave their area and be self-sufficient up to 5 days. This team will fall under the Veterinary Services Branch of the Incident Command System, lead by Dr. Carla Huston. Dr. Huston is currently responsible for establishing minimum training standards for this team. The MBAH is working to provide compensation for training and deployment time.

Team Structure

  • Teams will consist of a minimum of 3 members: a veterinarian and two animal technicians (one preferably a veterinary technician).
  • The goal is to establish a minimum of 4 Veterinary Strike Teams, two primary and two secondary.

Minimum Training Requirement:

all VST members must have these requirements met to be credentialed for deployment during a response in MS

  • Animal Emergency Response (AER) Positions Credentials for “Veterinarian” and “Animal Technician.”; these are the minimum requirements that the MBAH will use to credential responders
  • American Red Cross Pet First Aid
  • HAZMAT Awareness
  • CVM Biosecurity Awareness or equivalent

Recommended Training Requirements:

These training programs are not required but highly encouraged.

  • CPR
  • FEMA IS-10 and IS-11 “Animals in Disasters”

MART Policies:

These policies must be understood by all responders. Training will be provided by MBAH staff.

  • Media Policy/Communications
  • Code of Conduct
  • Euthanasia Standard Operating Guide
  • Disaster-Related Legal Issues

Training Opportunities

  • Training will be offered in-state a minimum of twice per year. Out-of-state training opportunities will be made available for veterinary strike team members as members are able to attend. Support for travel and backfill will be offered as available.