You heard about the Search and Rescue team, but did you hear about the dogs?
Last night Betty Yu reported a terrific story on KPIX covering our local FEMA Urban Search and Rescue CA Task Force 3 from Menlo Park, who packed up 40,000 pounds of equipment and flew out last night to Oahu, ahead of Hurricane Lane. Forty thousand pounds! As Betty explained, that's enough equipment and gear to spend up to two weeks doing search and rescue.
When it comes to the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) dogs, we're proud to be part of this effort. In particular, we're proud of the role Dr. Janet Lowery played to get the search and rescue dogs for Task Force 3 and Task Force 8 cleared and ready for take-off.
A lot goes into travel for USAR dogs, and even more when it comes to Hawaii. These dogs receive exceptional ongoing care, regular exams, complete vaccinations, and lots of extra record keeping. After all, they have to be ready to leave on a moment's notice.
When the word came down, Dr. Lowery snapped into action to conduct the additional required examinations before the dogs can go, issuing the Health Certificate and sending them along with a very well stocked medical supplies box. Upon their return, Dr. Lowery will examine them again. A veterinary debriefing, if you will.
As an island, Hawaii has some additional restrictions to protect the local animal (and human) populations. It took a true team effort to clear the regulatory hurdles, between multiple agencies, in very little time, to make sure that the dogs didn't get separated from their handler and end up in quarantine upon arrival. Luckily, all hurdles were cleared. Extra credit should go to the CA Task Force 3 Leader, Chief Crivello, from Menlo Park Fire, and to Hawaiian Director of Public Health, State Veterinarian Quarantine Officials, and Airport personnel on the ground who all worked with us to make it happen while the team was in flight.
We are also very pleased to report that everyone arrived safe and sound, and no dog had to be separated from their handler! The dogs are in Hawaii and ready for work! We hope there's little work to be done. As the hurricane draws near, please keep our local FEMA Task Force in your thoughts. Of course, we all send our aloha to the pets and people who live in Hawaii. Stay safe!
PS. In case you missed it, here is the story filed by Betty Yu: https://cbsloc.al/2MLOiJK