VERT: Veterinary Emergency Response Team

The two things that I am most passionate about are Veterinary Medicine and Flying. When I was deciding to leave graduate school in psychology to pursue another career it was narrowed down to Veterinarian or Pilot. I love them both so much, it was hard to choose, but you can tell which path I ultimately chose.

Even after that difficult decision, I have not given up on my desire to fly. I am still planning to get a pilot’s license. [In fact, if you or anyone you know in the area is a Flight Instructor, contact me! I’m dead serious] In the meantime, however, I have found a way to combine these two passions in a way you’d never expect: by being a training officer on the Veterinary Emergency Response Team at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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VERT, as it is commonly known, is focused on assisting in rescuing animals from emergencies. This can be anything from a horse that fell in the middle of rugged terrain and is stuck, wedged in between rocks to rescuing horses, dogs, and cats from floods following hurricanes such as Hurricane Katrina. (VERT really did  play an active role in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.)

As a team of veterinary students, we train after school in the evenings and on weekends to prepare for emergency situations. The most recent emergency we’ve been preparing for is a large animal airlift using a Helicopter and the UC Davis Anderson Sling. The team is currently preparing for a demonstration of the large animal airlift on Picnic Day, a huge city-wide open-house in Davis. Sac Metro Fire has donated their time, personnel and helicopter to help us prepare for the demo. Today we spent training for our demo. Unfortunately, due to gusty winds, we were unable to complete the lift safely. All was not lost as the awesome crew gave team members an open air ride in the chopper around Davis! We will make another attempt to complete the training before the actual demo if the weather improves during the week.

Remember, Picnic Day is Saturday, April 17, 2010. The airlift demonstrations will take place at 12:30pm & 2pm! This will be the first year that the large animal airlift will be presented at Picnic Day! I will be there participating in the demo as I would never pass up an opportunity that involved helicopters. And I must say, I think helicopters and I look good together! 😀

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