Fires in eastern Washington and disaster deployment

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The Carlton Complex and Mills Canyon fires in eastern Washington have destroyed homes and put people and animals at risk. When there’s a disaster of this nature, or one like the Oso mudslide, it’s natural for veterinarians and staff to consider volunteering. Before you pack your gear, there are some things to know about disaster and emergency management.

Never self-deploy. There is an incident command system where each group and volunteer must fold in with the lead agency. Volunteers are required to report to the lead agency’s incident commander once the request for volunteers has been made.

Incident Command System (ICS) training should be completed before participating in a disaster. The ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management. ICS training can be completed through FEMA online.

Participating in a disaster without being properly inducted into the onsite incident command system can put you in a potential risk of liability.

If you are interested in volunteering for the wildfires in Chelan and Okanogan Counties or for future disasters please contact the WSVMA.