UF VETS – Emergency and Disaster Response in a Pandemic

During this session, members from the University of Florida’s Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service will share how their unit has responded to state disasters and local emergencies in the past, and what has changed since COVID-19. This discussion will include how to prepare for a disaster impacting your community, as well as how to get involved in emergency and disaster response.

  • Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Garcia is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Medical Director for the Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service (VETS) team at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.  Prior to joining the university, Dr. Garcia was a shelter veterinarian in a large county shelter in South Florida.  While in this role, Dr. Garcia participated in a multiple response drills and provided veterinary insight for county emergency protocols and procedures.  Before, during, and after disasters he served the county emergency management ESF17 division in the EOC as well as guidance for shelter and field operations. In his role as UF VETS Medical Director, Dr. Garcia oversees medical and pharmaceutical inventory, equipment maintenance, protocol writing, medical oversight, training and team leadership.  He has participated in several disaster response exercises and led a state requested field hospital deployment. As a faculty member, Dr. Garcia has developed and implemented two clinical clerkships in which third and fourth year veterinary students are fully integrated into municipal animal shelter operations. He also teaches a graduate level Introduction to Veterinary Disaster Response.

  • Brandi Phillips first began working with the UF Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service in 2011 as a curriculum specialist. Phillips leads animal technical rescue training provided to first responders throughout the state of Florida. Over the years, Phillips responded to numerous technical rescue calls involving dogs, cows, and horses. She has also cross trained in other technical rescue disciplines, including rope rescue, confined space, and swiftwater rescue. She serves as a subject matter expert on the NFPA committees for technical rescue (1006 and 2500) and the Florida State Agricultural Response Team (SART) steering committe​​​​​​​e. Phillips also deploys as support staff for the veterinary disaster response team, and serves as public information officer for the team.

  • Lawrence Garcia

    Webinar Host

  • Brandi Phillips

    Webinar Host

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