Veterinary Emergency Preparedness in Colorado
Coalition Workshop 2024 | Regional Business Continuity & Emergency Planning
Grief and Hope
For many animal lovers on the Front Range of Colorado, these winter months and freezing temperatures bring up memories of the Marshall Fire. Marshall Fire, a grass-fire-turned-urban-firestorm, started on 30 December 2021 and, within 6 hours, destroyed over 1000 homes in southeastern Boulder County, Colorado.1
For many veterinary professionals, these memories fit painful alongside personal dedication and professional oaths to defend and advance the health and wellbeing of the animals in our state.2
In December of 2021, the Front Range Veterinary Medical Reserve Corp (FRvMRC) was just beginning to find its footing after reinitializing out of the roots of previous animal disaster response teams that have served our state.
The Front Range Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (FRvMRC) is a group of medical and non-medical volunteers that provide veterinary-specific emergency planning services along with preparedness and response services to the geographic regions east of the Continental Divide in Colorado. Our vMRC is part of a national network of volunteers (the Medical Reserve Corps) that all share the mission to improve the health and safety of our local communities.
MRC units exist to engage with local volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response and recovery capabilities, and build community resilience. Our team brings veterinary input to emergency planning and prepares for and respond to animal-related natural disasters (such as wildfires, floods, and blizzards) as well as other emergencies affecting animal and human health and safety.
Prepared to Serve
In the two years since Marshall Fire, the FRvMRC team has collaborated with area partners in emergency response, animal care, and continuity planning to define and strengthen how veterinary professionals and animal-lovers can prevent and prepare, but also respond, when animal lives are endangered by a disaster or emergency.
In 2024, the Front Range of Colorado is now supported by 4 pivotal services called Mission Ready Packages (MRPs). These services connect county, state, and federal disaster response organizations with local Colorado veterinary community resources:
Mission Ready Packages
Veterinary input during planning for disaster response and recovery
Distributed Medical Supply Cache: a distributed network of cache sites to access veterinary medical equipment & supplies
A trained, coordinated force of licensed professional veterinary volunteers
Working Animal Care: Support of working animal teams during training & deployment
On January 30th 2024
The Front Range vMRC is honored to cohost first Coalition Workshop alongside the North Central Region’s Healthcare Coalition (NCRHHC) near the anniversary of Marshall Fire, in memory of the tragedy and in celebration of the the hope and answers that have burgeoned out of it.
Join us for a discussion among community leaders and stakeholders on how veterinary professionals, animal-supportive businesses, and animal-lovers all around our state can prepare for and respond to animal needs during disaster events.
This workshop will provide those involved in veterinary care and leadership with an opportunity to learn about emergency preparedness and planning. Participants will connect with regional stakeholders and emergency preparedness experts. This workshop will facilitate discussion and learning in continuity planning tailored to veterinary practices with the aim of increasing operational and team resiliency and industry health.
Participants will share and collaborate on adaptable best practices that are applicable across practice sizes – from solo-doctor clinics to multi-doctor, multi-site clinic groups.
We hope to see you there!
Strong relationships & connections are at the core of resilient communities. If you are a veterinary professional or animal-lover on the Front Range of Colorado, this workshop is for you.
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2024 | 8:00a-1:00p
Location: Adams County Human Services Center | 11860 N. Pecos St. Westminster, CO 80234
This workshop is for you:
Licensed Veterinary Professionals & Clinic Leadership
Executive Leadership & Strategic Decision-makers across the Colorado veterinary industry
Veterinary Industry Leaders & Business Continuity Planners
Veterinary Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery Leadership
Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
Examine the need for emergency planning and preparedness in the veterinary field and share best practices.
Consider how strategies currently in place in the human-service healthcare sector can be translated and adapted to the veterinary medical field.
Discuss what veterinary teams can do to bolster their own continuity as well as opportunities to support in an emergency response.
Create connections and identify opportunities for enhancing regional capabilities in veterinary emergency preparation and response
Together with speakers from all levels of disaster preparedness and emergency planning within our state, the FRvMRC team discusses animal disaster response on the Front Range of Colorado and how veterinary professionals and animal-supportive businesses can be involved in 2024.
Please join us for a collaborative and action-step-focused workshop!
Event and speaker details can be found here on the event webpage. Register for this event through the webpage. See you there!
Irvine, L., & Andre, C. (2022). Tracking the Effects of the Marshall Fire on Pets and People. Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Research Report Series, 347. Boulder, CO: Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder. Available at: https://hazards.colorado.edu/quick-response-report/tracking-the-effects-of-the-marshall-fire-on-pets-and-people
Irvine L, Andre C. Pet Loss in an Urban Firestorm: Grief and Hope after Colorado's Marshall Fire. Animals (Basel). 2023;13(3):416. Published 2023 Jan 26. doi:10.3390/ani13030416