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Training Information

VETS team members work to connect the Anderson sling used in large animal rescue efforts.

VETS team members work to connect the Anderson sling used in large animal rescue efforts.

The UF VETS team is capable of performing field assessments, small and large animal disaster response (to include decontamination, triage, patient care, and sheltering), and animal technical rescue (both large and small). If you are interested in coordinating a training program/exercise in your community, please contact John Haven at 352-294-4254.

The team conducts at least one full scale animal disaster response event each year with various SART partners in different locations around the state. The team conducts various animal technical rescue training exercises at the college and around the state throughout the year to maintain proficiency and is available to assist local fire/rescue/sheriff efforts 24/7. Team members have completed various rescue courses, including TLAER Inc., Large Animal Technical Rescue, Wright Rescue Rope Rescue Instructor II, Confined Space Technician and Swift Water Rescue Technician. The team provides labs/training to the AAEP’s student chapter and to the student Public Health and Service Club at UF.  It also assists in conducting disease outbreak exercises with various courses.


To be NIMS (National Incident Management System) compliant, all responders must take IS-100.b (Incident Command System 100 – Introduction to the Incident Command System), IS-200.b (Incident Command System for Single Resources and Initial Actions Incidents), and IS 700.a (National Incident Management System – NIMS An Introduction). Those who will be team leaders must also take ICS 300. For those who will be involved in animal response, it is recommended you complete IS-10a (Animals in Disaster, Module A: Awareness and Preparedness), and IS-11a (Animals in Disaster, Module B: Community Planning), and IS-111 (Livestock in Disasters). It is also recommended responders take IS-5.a (An Introduction to Hazardous Materials). All of these courses, with the exception of ICS 300, are available at no cost at the FEMA Independent Study Site. ICS 300 and 400 (Management of Large Scale Incidents) can be arranged for groups by contacting John Haven.


Incident Command System 300: This is a 2+ day course featuring an in-depth experience with ICS positions, forms, etc., and includes group scenarios. This course is taught with a reference to the animal and agricultural perspective vs. the typical fire scenarios. Pre-requisites – ICS 100, 200 and IS 700.

Incident Command System 400: This is a two-day course featuring the structure and management of expanding and extremely large responses requiring multiple Incident Management Team structure variations, Area Command and other large scale topics and includes group scenarios. Prerequisites – ICS 100, 200, 300 and IS 700.

Animal Technical Rescue – Operations Level: This is a two-day, hands on, intensive animal technical rescue course covering both large and small animal rescue equipment scenarios and techniques. At course completion, students will perform a technical rescue scenario without assistance. This is a Homeland Security/FEMA approved course – (FL-002-RESP) (https:www/ page 115) and training money can be used. It covers the learning objectives of the new 2014 edition NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Committee 1670, standards for Search and Technical Rescue, which includes a new chapter on Animal Technical Rescue. The course is geared to provide a local response team practical training and is used to support the seven state supported animal technical rescue teams around the state. The college provides training at local venues organized by a host agency. The class is capped at 20 students to ensure an intensive learning environment. Contact John Haven at 352-294-4254 to schedule.

Training Schedule Spring 2016:

Technical Rescue Rigging Challenge for DVM Students – To be Determined

Training Schedule Fall 2016/2017:

Operations Level – Animal Technical Rescue Course with new updated NFPA standards:

  • Miami Dade – December 13 and 14, 2016
  • Marion County – Central Florida College Equine Studies Program – January 28 and 29, 2017 – Open to the Public

Technician Level – Animal Technical Rescue Course with new updated NFPA standards

  • Volusia County – October 18 and 19, 2016
  • Polk County – October 20 and 21, 2016
  • Miami Dade – December 15 and 16, 2016
  • Hernando County – February 11 and 12, 2017

Human Technician Level Course – Gainesville, FL – November 29 – December 3, 2016

Training Schedule Spring 2017:

Disaster Deployment Workshop – Miami/Dade – Spring 2017