Vol. 6, No.8, August 2010

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Joan Dusky, UF David Perry, FDACS

SART Advisory Board Agenda

The Florida SART Advisory Board will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday September 1 at the Florida Farm Building in Gainesville. This session will build on the initiatives of the March 3rd Advisory Board meeting and members can read those minutes on the web site at www.flsart.org/SART/login - scroll down the page and double-click on “Advisory Board Meeting Minutes (03/03/2010).” Meanwhile, the following agenda is set for the September 1 meeting:

  • 10:00 am       Call to order/Welcome/Introduction
    •                             Joan Dusky (UF) and David Perry (FDACS)
  • 10:30 am       Gulf Oil Spill: Animal response activities
    •                             Tom Ostertag (FWC)
  • 11:00 am       State Animal Response Coalition
    •                             Connie Brooks (SARC)
  • 11:30 am       SART Planning Meeting Details
    •                              February 28 - March 02, 2011
    •                              Joe Kight and Michael Turner (FDACS)
Connie Brooks, DART
  • 12:00 noon    Lunch break (if required)
  • 12:30 pm       SART Partner Survey
    •                                Member additions and deletions
  • 1:00 pm          SART Funding Request
    •                                Art Johnstone (FDACS)
  • 1:30 pm          SART Web Site Updates
    •                                Jiannong Xin (UF) and Michael Turner (FDACS)
  • 2:00 pm          Adjourn


2011 Florida SART Planning Meeting

By Michael Turner, SART Planner

Registration for the 2011 SART Planning Meeting will begin on or before September 15, 2010. The Planning Meeting will be held February 28-March 2, 2011 at the Altamonte Springs/Orlando North Hilton. Room rates for conference attendees are $93/per night. While there is no event fee for registered participants, you must register for the meeting, and book your room before January 28, 2011 to be eligible for our exceptional group rate. All conference attendees are invited to join us for a light fare reception on the evening of February 28. Additionally, complimentary breakfast will be served on the mornings of March 1 and 2. Lunch will be provided complimentary on March 1 during our awards ceremony.

On Tuesday, March 1, we will offer three breakout sessions. Space is limited, and your selection is not guaranteed, so the earlier you sign up, the greater your odds of admission to a particular course.

Jiannong Xin, UF and Michael Turner, FDACS

Accessing SART State and Regional Assets

This four hour class will provide information on statewide & regional equipment, and how to order them when needed. You will receive safety and maintenance tips, as well as information on bio-security measures. You will be provide information on selecting, preparing and setting up an emergency pet shelter as well be provide instruction on feeding, watering and basic animal care.

Large Animal Technical Rescue Introductory Course

This course is aimed at local community responders from EMS, Animal Control, NGOs, etc. who might be involved in a large animal technical rescue. This course is intended to provide potential responders with an overview of safety issues for the responders and the patient, basic animal behavior, equipment familiarization, as well as tips and techniques when considering a basic rescue. This is the first step in a series of training levels for those wishing to become proficient in large animal technical rescue, or simply a short course for those who just want a basic understanding of the specialty. There will be various demonstrations of equipment and rescue techniques with some audience participation. Various scenarios will be addressed to include water rescue, mud rescue, helicopter rescue, trench rescue, high angle and low angle rescues.

The Animal First Aide/Emergency Care session will cover the fundamentals of triage and emergency care for a range of species. Additionally, first aid procedures specific to different commonly encountered animals in Florida will be discussed. The session will be appropriate for those with limited knowledge of veterinary care, but also appropriate for those needing advanced continuing education in the field.

2010 SART Exercise in Bushnell (L. Bevan photo)

Animal Emergency Care

The Animal First Aide/Emergency Care session will cover the fundamentals of triage and emergency care for a range of species. Additionally, first aid procedures specific to different commonly encountered animals in Florida will be discussed.  The session will be appropriate for those with limited knowledge of veterinary care, but also appropriate for those needing advanced continuing education in the field.

Consistent with his schedule, Dave Halstead, Director, Florida Division of Emergency Management, will be presenting as will Liz Wang with NASAAEP and Joan Dusky with UF/IFAS will be presenting.

Of course, “stay tuned” to the Sentinel for additional information as it becomes available. Meanwhile questions may be directed to either Michael Turner (turnerm@doacs.state.fl.us) or Joe Kight (kightj@doacs.state.fl.us). Information about the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs, a Florida green hotel and conference center, can be found at http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/ALTAHHF-Hilton-Orlando-Altamonte-Springs-Florida/index.do


Current FDACS/WIFSS Course Schedule

The FDACS/Office of Agricultural Emergency Preparedness partnership with WIFSS (http://wifss.ucdavis.edu) allows several DHS-Certified agroterrorism courses to be open to response agencies and representatives this year. Courses are free and lunch is provided.

AWR-154: Principles of National Incident Management System (NIMS) Team Building, and Risk Communication (Registration at 8:00 am Workshop from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm)
Miami: Wednesday, October 13
            Miami Regional Operations Center FDLE Bldg., Emergency Operations
            Center - 1030 NW 111th Ave., Miami
Ft. Myers: November 30
            Regional Operations Center, 4700 Terminal Drive, Suite 6. Ft. Myers
Sarasota: December 1
            County Government Administration Center Emergency Operation Center
            6th Floor, 1660 Ringling Boulevard

Training such as that from WIFSS/FDACS helps you and your agency identify potential threats and to make a plan, it helps you learn proper response methods as a team within the ICS system..


AWR-155: Principles of Frontline Response to Agroterrorism and Food Systems’ Disasters (Registration at 8:00 am Workshop from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm)
Homestead: Thursday, October 14
            Miami-Dade County Extension Office, Agricultural Center, 18710 SW 288th St.,
West Palm Beach: Wednesday, November 3
            Division of Emergency Management, Palm Beach County, 20 South Military
            Trail, West Palm Beach
Davie: Thursday, November 4
            Institute Public Safety (Building 22, Room 155) Broward College, Central
            Campus, 3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie

To register for a course please visit the WIFSS website. For more detailed information contact FDACS’ John Terry (850-410-6756 or terryj1@doacs.state.fl.us).
Course Information:


Overview The Agroterrorism Preparedness Training Curriculum

At the national level, the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS - http://wifss.ucdavis.edu), part of the University of California-Davis, is a training partner of the Office of Grants and Training, DHS. At the state level, it partners with FDACS and UF-IFAS to bring a variety of courses to Florida’s responder community.

The purpose is to strengthen our capability to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from agroterrorism or other major disasters in the food systems.

The larger goal is to enhance national security by strengthening preparedness of responders to assure that there is capacity to respond early and effectively and in coordination with other state and federal agencies. Below is a list of the training curriculum currently offered. For more information visit the WIFSS web site: http://wifss.ucdavis.edu.

AWR-151 Awareness
            Understanding the Dangers of Agroterrorism
AWR-152 Preparedness
            Principles of Preparedness for Agroterrorism and Food Systems' Disasters
AWR-153 Detection and Diagnosis
            Principles of Detection and Diagnosis Strategies and Technologies
AWR-154 (NIMS) and Risk Communication
            Principles of National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Risk Communication
AWR-155 Response
            Principles of Frontline Response to Agroterrorism and Food Systems' Disasters
AWR-156 Recovery
            Principles of Planning and Implementing Recovery
Electives - courses that enhance depth of knowledge and capacity in specific areas:
            Risk Assesment Tools for Communities
            Dangerous Foreign Animal and Plant Diseases
            Foot and Mouth Disease
            Understanding the Food Systems and How They Work
            Avian Influenza


This & That

UF VETS Team Responds
On Saturday, July 24th John Haven, Director, UF School of Veterinary Medicine and VETS Team leader was contacted by the Williston Fire Department about livestock trapped in deep sink holes on private property.

Five members of the VETS Team responded to assist as did members of the Marion County Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team. In total, 20 individuals worked to sedate two cows in a 35-40 foot deep hole which had several feet of water in the bottom. The cows were successfully lifted out of the hole and freed.

This sequence of photos provided by John Haven, leader of the VETS Team shows a sedated cow being hoisted out of a sinkhole, and placed on the team's rescue glide to move it away from the hole.

“We started at 1:00 o’clock,” Haven says, “and it was pretty hot. We’re always happy to work with agencies in our community. There’s no up-front charge when we respond as the VETS Team is funded by grants and donations.”

Lessons learned? Continuing practice with rescue techniques and equipment coupled with continuing outreach to rescue partners yields successful results.

NASAAEP Seeking Members
The National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs or NASAAEP is now accepting membership applications for 2010. Here are links to pdfs of their cover letter (Membership Cover Letter) and to the membership application (Membership Application).

If you have questions contact Liz Serca, NASAAEP Vice President. Liz is now the Coordinator for Emergency Management for the Texas Department of Agriculture (512) 475-0402 Elizabeth.Serca@TexasAgriculture.gov.

Unwanted Horses: New Questions, Old Issue
A July 28, 2010 article about unwanted horses by Charlie Powell, Senior Public Information Officer, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine has stirred a lot of discussion in the veterinary community. It is printed on line at www.myevt.com/blogs/43/unwanted-horses-new-questions-old-issue.

USDA-APHIS Launches Informational Web Site
APHIS has launched a national pest tracker that keeps track of plant pests and diseases and their distribution in the US. It identifies states under federal quarantine and at “high risk” for more than a dozen pests and diseases, such as light brown apple moth, emerald ash borer and sudden oak death. Check out the APHIS’ Hungry Pests web site www.hungrypests.com.

At Hungry Pests, users can click on pests of concern to see their distribution or click on a particular state to see what federal quarantines are in place and what locations are affected. For example, clicking on gypsy moth lights up the entire map, meaning that even if a state doesn’t have the pest, it’s still at high risk for detection.

For more information or for the Hungry Pests logo, please contact Heather Curlett at heather.curlett@aphis.usda.gov.


Rapid Response Network

According to Rita Johnson, Environmental Consultant in the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Florida is developing a Rapid Response Network to respond to Food & Feed hazards.  FDACS’ Division of Food Safety is part of a 3-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop/enhance an infrastructure to respond rapidly to adverse Food & Feed events, (intentional or non-intentional) in collaboration with other food and feed safety partners.

The Rapid Response Steering Committee consists of a variety of representatives:

FDACS represented:

  • Division of Food Safety
  • Division of Fruit & Vegetables;
  • Division of Agricultural Environmental Services-Bureau of Animal Feed
  • Office of Emergency Preparedness

Other partners:

  • Department of Business & Professional Regulations-Division of Hotels & Restaurants;
  • Department of Health-Office of Food & Waterborne Surveillance; and the
  • U.S. Food & Drug Administration—Florida District Office and Southeast Regional office.

Some of their goals are to:

  • rewrite our electronic inspection system to enhance Florida’s capability to assess real time data as one would need during a Food & Feed recall and to determine positive or adverse trends, etc.;
  • assist in the development of a Florida Food & Feed Emergency Response Plan;
  • have a reliable alert notification system by email, phone and fax;
  • have pre-selected subject matter experts;
  • develop a ready network of Food & Feed safety professionals and
  • to use the Incident Command structure to operate seamlessly and efficiently.


Gasoline/Diesel Prices and Budgeting for Response

Rick Sapp photo
Gasoline pricing has been unstable for years. Many factors, from the price of a barrel of crude to the commercial delivery chain are involved in price at the pump. Does your response unit have a plan to provide for fuel in an emergency - in your locale or when you are called to respond to Texas?

OPIS, the Oil Price Information Service (www.opisnet.com), says it is the world’s most comprehensive source for petroleum pricing and information. OPIS began covering petroleum news in 1977 and therefore has an opinion about prices-at-the-pump, a factor that must be budgeted when your group or agency is asked to respond.

After all, the difference between paying $2.75/gallon (today’s price at $81/barrel of crude oil) versus, for example, $4.11/gallon (when crude oil hit its record high of $147.27 on July 11, 2008) is significant. In an era when agency and family budgets are stretched to the breaking point, such a difference might determine how we are able to respond in a crisis.

Your SART Sentinel interviewed Tom Kloza, OPIS Director/Editorial Content who noted that while the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was a terrible environmental and political catastrophe, it will not affect the price of oil and gas. A hurricane threat however “is real and can’t be dismissed. A direct hit on a 100,000 barrel/day or greater capacity refinery would probably inspire a quick move higher in U.S. fuel prices east of the Rockies.”

Could Kloza forecast pricing for the balance of the year? “I suspect we’ll see U.S. gas prices remain close to the $2.70 per gallon level for most of July and August,” he said, “with the potential for a 20-30 cent per gallon spike if a hurricane makes landfall in the Gulf region. Once the ‘all clear’ signal comes, though, I expect fuel prices to back off to $2.50 gallon or less.”


Lead in the Environment

Children have a very low tolerance of lead and its effects on them can be terrible. Thus, it has been banned from toys and glass, from gasoline and from paint. A graph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that in the 11-year period from 1997 to 2007 levels of lead in the blood of children has actually fallen dramatically. "EBLL" is shorthand for elevated blood lead level. (CDC graph from www.cdc.gov.)

Lead is a naturally occurring metal, which doesn’t mean you want it in your drinking water or bloodstream. Meteors are naturally occurring, too, but falling into your neighborhood? Not if you can help it. Lead, as it turns out, may be as natural as a rainbow or the soft skin of an infant’s bottom, but it is also a deadly and insidious poison, one that accumulates in the body over time. Although it is a poison, it doesn’t kill or maim quickly.

Although lead falls into a class of poisons called neurotoxins, it has been documented in human remains and artifacts from ancient times. The Romans used lead in their water pipes and hair dyes. The Egyptians and Greeks used it in facial make-up. The Chinese used it in manufacturing metal implements. A neurotoxin disrupts nerve cells, causing paralysis; it interferes with the beating of the heart, the rigidity of bones and the elimination of waste; it kills sperm and causes miscarriages.

Should you pick up this lead tire weight... or not touch it? And if you pick it up, what will you do with it? The EPA estimates that 13% of vehicle wheel weights fall off annually, crunching under the weight of other vehicles and washing into sewers or entering landfills. The average 2.5-ounce weights could put up to 2,000 tons of lead into the environment a year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Perhaps it is time we began recycling lead along with newspapers, glass and plastic.

Even with knowledge of these dangerous properties, the world hasn’t ceased to mine and trade lead: the U.S. is a major international supplier. Indeed, lead has probably been mined for 10,000 years. About 123,000 metric tons of lead is extracted annually in the U.S., much of it in southeast Missouri, and another 1.2 metric tons is re-acquired from secondary production (recycling). As a whole, the world produces about 3.8 million metric tons a year - much of it now in lead-acid batteries, despite lead’s known toxic properties - and that amount increases annually.


About the SART Sentinel

Editor: Rick Sapp, PhD, Technical Writer, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry [rsa5@cox.net]

Associate Editor: Joe Kight, State ESF-17 Coordinator, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry [kightj@doacs.state.fl.us]

The SART SENTINEL is an E-mail newsletter prepared monthly by Rick Sapp and the members of the Florida State Agricultural Response Team. Past issues of the Sentinel are archived on the Florida SART Web Site, www.flsart.org.

If you have a story or photo that you would like to have considered for publication in The SART SENTINEL, please contact the Editors.