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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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VET reveals custom disaster response vehicle

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The VET team revealed their new custom made emergency vehicle for disaster response.    

Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Emergency Team (VET), the largest disaster response team in the U.S., unveiled their first custom made medical unit by Clegg Industries today at Disaster City, a park dedicated toward training for disasters in Texas City, Texas.
VET partnered with the Banfield Foundation to create this new unit, which will be used in future disasters to rescue animals from damaged areas. The design for the vehicle is based off what the VET team has learned into disaster situations since their creation in 2009.
Wesley Bissett, director of VET, said the production of this vehicle has been years in the making but was celebrated on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
“The Banfield Foundation learned about our team and they believed in what we are doing,” Bissett said. “They like that service component, what we were doing to help our state and whatnot and they elected to donate the funding for us to build a custom design veterinary medical platform that we take into disasters.”
The Banfield Foundation is a corporate veterinary medical care provider. Bissett said they are geared toward community outreach, which is a complementary match to VET.
“Our team has deployed quite a bit since we we formed in 2009, and we’ve deployed to just about every major disaster since then,” Bissett said. “Every single development we wind up learning more about what will work best for us, so basically we took all of those lessons learned across those multiple deployments, different types of deployments and we factored all of those into the design of this unit.”
When hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast, Bissett said it became clear that there was a need for an emergency response veterinary team in Texas. VET team was then formed officially in 2009 and has continued to respond to disasters.
“Hurricane Ike happened in 2008, and it was really that hurricane that really demonstrated how the state of Texas needed a deployable veterinary medical team that was a state resource that they could send out to communities that were impacted by a disaster,” Bissett said.
This vehicle will be used for the next disaster that the team is deployed on, as well as in training and teaching for senior veterinary medical students.

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