Philippines Vet Corps joins our regional disaster response network

In conjunction with this new partnership, we hosted a five-day training for the members of the APF Veterinary Corps.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Disaster Response team proudly welcomes the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Veterinary Corps to our Southeast Asia Emergency Relief Network.

In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, IFAW collaborated with the AFP Veterinary Corps to provide veterinary care to the animals living in the coastal villages of Eastern Samar.  We knew that we had found an invaluable agency that would bring unique skills and capacity to assist in future responses.

A few months later, members of the AFP Veterinary Corps attended our 2014 Animals in Disasters training in Tagaytay, Philippines where they gained knowledge in disaster management and water rescue to complement their veterinary capabilities.  The idea of joining our Southeast Asia Emergency Relief Network (ERN) was introduced, but since they are a military unit that doesn’t typically work alongside civilian organizations, we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us to formalize our relationship.  IFAW’s ERN is comprised of both government agencies and non-governmental organizations who strive towards a common goal of collaboration to improve preparedness and response for animals in disasters.

Since the 2014 training, IFAW’s Philippines-based Southeast Asia ERN Coordinator May Angela Razon has been meeting with the AFP Veterinary Corps to discuss continued coordination and we are honored to announce them as our newest member to the Southeast Asia ERN.

In conjunction with this new partnership, we hosted a five-day training for the members of the APF Veterinary Corps. 

In the spirit of cooperation, the AFP Veterinary Corps invited members from the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection.  After courses on Disaster Assessment, Incident Command System (ICS), Veterinary Triage and others, we moved the classroom outdoors to focus on the basics of technical rope rescue, water rescue, and search and rescue.

The teams worked together to demonstrate their newly learned skills in a final disaster simulation activity where they successfully rescued many ‘animals’ (stuffed-toy ones of course). 

The IFAW team is proud to have been able to offer this type of practical training to support the AFP Veterinary Corps’ new initiative, empowering their members to expand their impact by providing services to their community in times of disaster.

The heartfelt speeches from representatives of the AFP Veterinary Corps’ branches and attending agencies during the closing ceremony inspired us all to continue to collaborate and train together as we prepare for future disasters.

--JG

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