(September 11, 2001) At 8:45 a.m. EDT today, the first of two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center, opening a horrifying and apparently coordinated terrorist attack on the United States, which saw the collapse of the two 110-story towers into surrounding Manhattan streets and a later attack on the Pentagon (Source: www.cnn.com).
This terrifying event has resulted in all four Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) being put on alert status. In addition, Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMAT-1 Team Leader, has been deployed to serve with Disaster Medical Assistance Team NY-2 and to eventually report to the NDMS Management Support Team which will be located in New York.
The VMATs may be called upon to treat search and rescue dogs, the Secret Service dogs, and provide needed veterinary medical care to injured and abandoned animals in and around the disaster area.
Other responsibilities of the VMATs during disasters include:
- Assessment of medical needs of animals
- Medical treatment and stabilization of animals
- Animal disease surveillance
- Zoonotic disease surveillance and public health assessment
- Technical assistance to assure food and water quality
- Hazard mitigation
- Biological and chemical terrorism surveillance
- Animal decontamination
The disaster responders will do their best to bring recovery to the area and will provide vital assistance during this tragedy.