About the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams

For over 20 years, the AVMA’s Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) have helped the nation prepare for and respond to disasters and other emergencies.  The dedicated volunteers who work with the VMAT program help ensure that all animals: pets, livestock, zoo animals and wildlife receive the care they need during times of crisis. 


The VMAT program is a state level resource. VMAT assistance is available to states who have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the AVMA.  The VMAT program has three primary missions.  VMAT resources are available on request from the appropriate state authority.

Early Assessment Volunteer Teams

4-6 person teams, self-sufficient and available upon request from the appropriate state authority. Teams focus on assessing veterinary conditions & infrastructure, and gathering verifiable data to assist states in deploying appropriate resources to the affected area. An initial deployment of 72 hours boots-on-the-ground, not including travel time, is supported through funding from the AVMF.

Basic Treatment Volunteer Teams

4-6 person teams, self-sufficient and available upon request from the appropriate state authority. Teams provide primary field care to augment overwhelmed local capabilities. This could include establishment of a base-of-operations as a field staging area for state-based veterinary triage and veterinary medical care of displaced animals. An initial deployment of 5 days boots-on-the-ground, not including travel time, is supported through funding from the AVMF.

Training

Utilizing their years of training and experience, VMAT volunteers provide training on a wide range of emergency preparedness and response topics to veterinary response organizations, state veterinary medical associations, veterinary students and other related groups. Potential topics include:  animal decontamination, disaster veterinary medicine, disaster triage, hazmat awareness for veterinarians, assessment and many other topics. Training opportunities range from a lecture on a specific topic, to hands on training or an exercise. VMAT U, which launched in 2013, standardizes and formalizes the training VMAT has been offering for many years.

 

Additional Information:

History of AVMA Emergency Preparedness and Response programs

AVMA VMAT Program Fact Sheet

AVMA VMAT FAQ for States