What Is the National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT)?
The National Response Framework (NRF) utilizes the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), a part of the US Department of Health & Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations (OPEO). Under the NRF, NDMS serves as a component of Emergency Support Function #8 (ESF-8), Health and Medical Services. The National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT) is a cadre of individuals within the NDMS system who have professional expertise in areas of veterinary medicine, public health and research. In addition to supporting the NRF mission requirements of NDMS under ESF-8, operational support may also be rendered by the NVRT to other Federal partners such as the USDA under ESF-11, Agriculture, and FEMA under ESF-6, Mass Care, in the support of the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS Act) . The National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT) provides assistance in identifying the need for veterinary services following major disasters, emergencies, public health or other events requiring Federal support and in assessing the extent of disruption to animal and public health infrastructures. The NVRT is a fully supported Federal program.
These responsibilities include:
- Assessing the Veterinary Medical Needs of the Community
- Medical Treatment and Stabilization of Animals
- Animal Disease Surveillance
- Zoonotic Disease Surveillance and Public Health Assessments
- Technical Assistance to Assure Food Safety and Water Quality
- Hazard Mitigation
- Care and Support of Animals Certified as Official Responders to a Disaster or Emergency
The National Veterinary Response Team personnel are private citizens who have been approved as intermittent federal employees and activated in the event of a disaster. The personnel are comprised of individuals with diverse expertise to include; Veterinarians, Animal Health Technicians, Pharmacists, Epidemiologists, Safety Officers, Logisticians, Communications Specialists, and other support personnel. These individuals are assigned to designated teams which train in preparation for what might be experienced during a response. They are enabled by a regional cache of equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals. Personnel are required to maintain the appropriate and current professional certifications and licensure of their discipline. As intermittent Federal employees when personnel are activated, during the length of a deployment their licensure is recognized by the state(s) requesting assistance. Deployed personnel are compensated for their duty time by the Federal government. In an emergency or disaster response, the National Veterinary Response Teams work using the Incident Command System (ICS). Teams provide assessments, technical assistance, public health and veterinary services under the guidance of state and/or local authorities.
If interested in becoming involved in NDMS, please review our NDMS Recruitment link above.