Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Agricultural Emergency Response Training

Just when I had my entire summer planned I got accepted into a very intense training program.
In June, in Alabama, where the heat index is never below 95 degrees.

The State Veterinarian asked me to go in his place.   It is obvious to me now that he had NO idea what he was getting me into.

For 5 days I set my alarm for 4 am, went to breckfast and rode a bus to my very intense disaster classes.
The end of the day was around 9 pm.

These were not the kind of classes I have taken in the past.
I have attended Swiftwater Rescue classes where you plunge over a fast flowing dam and try to get yourself out.
I have taken Helicopter Rescue classes where you strap an injured horse into an Anderson sling and get it off a cliff.
I have taken High Angle rescue classes where you jump out of 8th story windows using just a harness and good knots.
 Oh No, this training was nothing like the 20 years of previous experiences.

This training was about agricultural terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Apparently there is some thought that the next act of terrorism will strike at our food system and this training brings together veterinarians, law enforcement, animal responders and others who are involved in rural areas where a large portion of our food comes from.  The training teaches us how to respond to an incident.
How to chose the correct kind of Personal Protection Equipment ( PPE ) and how to use very intricate survey and monitoring machines and equipment to detect for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive materials that may be found on a farm, feed lot, greenhouse, field or any other agricultural area after a terrorist incident.

Other tasks we were throughly trained for in this Ag-Ert class were:

Different kinds of PPE's--Level A thru Level E
Epidemiology, Disease Surveillance, Prevention, Control and Eradication
Crime Scene Preservation
Decontamination of Responders and Evidence
Animal Carcass Disposal

This class is suggested for Veterinarians ( required for State Vets ) , Vet techs, Ag Students, Law Enforcement, animal responders and anyone who is already involved with testing and monitoring our food systems.  Training was conducted both inside and outside in very "real" conditions.

To sign up for this class, go to:

PLEASE spread the word.

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