DVM students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine participate in a variety of activities with the UF VETS team to better prepare them for disaster and emergency response during their careers.
Disaster Response Exercise
The UF VETS team partners with the Veterinarians in One Health and Shelter Medicine student organizations to conduct disaster response training. An annual exercise includes mock patients following a fictitious disaster while students rotate through stations including triage, decontamination, isolation, treatment, hospitalization, and sheltering. Students experience a variety of roles, taking turns as team leads and support personnel to get a view of what is required to run a field hospital.
Animal Technical Rescue Training
Awareness and operations level animal technical rescue training are made available throughout each year to UF DVM students. These students learn about emergency response, field medicine applicable to technical rescue emergencies, and participate in hands-on scenarios using a life-sized equine model. Students also participate in regularly occurring wet labs involving basic rope rescue skill development, equine patient packaging, application of slings for high angle responses, and rappelling in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Trained, active students also participate in response calls under the supervision of qualified team members. This training is critical in promoting the involvement of veterinarians in local emergency response and preparing our students to safely and effectively participate in rescues. Veterinary involvement on scene leads to better outcomes for animals as well as a safer environment for responders.
Rappel Wet Lab
Each spring, DVM students participate in a wet lab with UF VETS trained rope rescue instructors at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Students learn about rigging main and belay lines and how to operate a descent control device to lower themselves from a stairwell. This is a fun opportunity to continue rope skill development and often a personal challenge for those conquering a fear of heights.