Disaster drill offers skill-sharpening exercises

Disaster drill

This new 90-pound dog mannequin needs a name. (Photo courtesy of John Haven)

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Emergency Treatment Services technical rescue team, members of the college’s public health and service club and  Gainesville Fire Rescue’s technical rescue team sharpened their skills in a drill held Oct. 26 at the Gainesville Regional Utilities downtown power plant.

The VETS team, while nationally recognized for its training and equipment for large and small animal rescue, is actually trained and equipped for human technical rescue as well, said the group’s director, John Haven.

“VETS trains with local fire and sheriff’s departments several times a year to maintain its proficiency,” Haven said, adding that D.V.M. students train with the VETS team so they can learn how to help during technical rescues in their communities when they graduate.

Veterinary students who participated in the drill were Christopher Post (’17), Rikki Schwarz (’16), Melissa Carter (’16), Claire Paige (’17) and Cameron Biggs (’16.) In addition to the students and Haven, Josh Fleming, David John and Dr. David Baekey were involved.

Haven said the program is often associated with a familiar horse mannequin named “Randy,” but in the most recent drill, a new 90-pound German shepherd mannequine was used.

“That guy still needs a name,” Haven said.


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