The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team is the only state-level veterinary medical care provider in the State of Texas Emergency Response Plan. The team is the nation’s largest in terms of daily patient capacity and the most sophisticated in terms of the depth and breadth of veterinary medical care provided in a disaster situation. The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team supports Texas Task Force 1 on all in-state deployments and is pursuing the ability to provide veterinary medical support on out of state deployments. Tent and trailer-based medical platforms worth approximately 1.5 million dollars have been accumulated to support the faculty, staff, and senior veterinary medical student members of the team in performing our missions, as have faculty members with a variety of specialties and advanced training. The combination of personnel and equipment project the prowess of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences throughout the State of Texas and beyond during times of disaster.
The missions of the Veterinary Emergency Team include:
A small team of Veterinary Emergency Team members and veterinary medical students were called out to provide veterinary medical support for search teams involved in a long-standing criminal investigation. Rugged terrain, high ambient temperatures and the potential for snake bites presented hazards for search dogs and their handlers. Excellent handler oversight and veterinary medical support allowed all search dogs to complete their mission. The deployed group returned to Aggieland after the conclusion of operations at the site.
The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (TAMU VET) deployed to the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion at 4:30 AM on April 18, 2013 with the mission of providing veterinary medical support for the search dogs of Texas Task Force One and resident animals injured as a result of the blast. Five veterinary faculty, four senior veterinary medical students, four veterinary technicians, and five support staff from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences responded on this deployment, utilizing two of the team’s mobile veterinary medical platforms and four vehicles.
The Bastrop County Complex fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history, striking areas of Bastrop County in September and October 2011.Three separate fires started on September 4, 2011, as a result of strong winds caused by nearby Tropical Storm Lee, and merged into one large blaze that burned east of the city of Bastrop.
The Texas A&M V.E.T. proved instrumental in the reuniting of numerous pets with their owners in the West incident. They truly are a beacon of light in the darkest of hours.
Sgt. W. Patrick
Waco Police Department