Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team
In February 2012, the Department consolidated its Small Animal rescue Team (SmART), Department Air Rescue Team (DART), Wildlife Program and Permit Section into one Special operations Unit. The Department further unified the Small Animal rescue Team (SmART) and Department Air rescue Team (Large Animal Rescue Team – DART) into one join venture now called, the “Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team” (SMART). This reorganization resulted in leveraging staff to do more than one function, as staff was cross trained to support each other. The end result is more staff are available for emergency call outs and Departmental field support. Most importantly, the Department is able to provide increased quality and improved services to the public while maximizing safety and support to our personnel.
The SMART team has a 100% save rate since they began using their specialized training, experience and knowledge for rescuing small and large animals in distress. The Special Operations Unit, including the SMART team, is under the command of Director of Field Operations, Mark Salazar and being led by Acting Lt. Armando Naverrete. The SMART team consists of ten LA Animal Services Officers and one Registered Veterinary Technician.
Did you know that SMART is the first specialized mobile urban rescue team? SMART was created because there was a demand for a team dedicated to rescuing animals stuck in extreme situations on a regular basis. Did you know that SMART will rescue any type of small animal? SMART rescues all small animals whether it is stray, wild, or owned. Examples of recent SMART rescues include: a stray cat stuck in a tree for 5 days, a hawk with a leash on its leg entangled on a TV antenna, an unweaned kitten trapped between two walls for 4 days, a fox in a tree at a school under lock-down a cat stuck in a storm drain, a dog that fell over a fifty foot cliff, and a cat stuck in the LA River. Did you know that SMART is always available? SMART will respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When an animal is in distress, call your local Animal Shelter at 1-888-452-7381Did you know that SMART had to create their training curriculum from scratch? Since there has never been a small animal rescue team like SMART, the team modified concepts and equipment designed for human urban search and rescue so that they could be applied towards animals.
Did you know that the members of SMART combined their passion for rescuing animals with their recreational knowledge and experience of rock climbing and rappelling? The team members had extensive experience with rock climbing and rappelling and felt that these skills could be used to rescue animals, with this the team created RAK which is the essence of all their training exercises.
Did you know that SMART created the acronyms MARTE (Mock Animal for Rescue Training Exercises), MARS (Mock Animal Rescue Scenario), RAK (Ropes, Anchors, and Knots), and POLR (Pools, Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers)? SMART coined these phrases so their specialized training and techniques can be used as models for future small animal rescue teams.
Did you know that SMART is NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) Certified to perform swift-water rescue operations across the country? In July and November of 2009, SMART went through swift-water rescue training and has since made modifications for the rescue training geared towards rescuing humans so that it can be applied to saving animals’ lives.
Did you know that SMART has a Registered Veterinary Technician? SMART recognized the need to have a medic available at rescues to provide emergency medical care and ensure the animal is stable prior to the rescue. The RVT undergoes the same specialized training, making him capable of treating an animal stuck in any type of extreme situation.
Did you know that all 7 SMART Members are NFPA certified in Low Angle Rope Rescue Operations (L.A.R.R.O.) In addition to the training curriculum that SMART created they saw the need to be able to understand and be efficient with the training that Fire Departments and Mountain Search and Rescue Teams adhere to across the Nation.
|SMART received a call for a dog named Bear that had fallen over a fifty-foot cliff while hiking with his guardian. SMART received members utilized skill fine-tuned with M.A.R.S. (Mock Animal Rescue Scenario) and R.A.K.(Ropes, Anchors & Knots) training to rappel down the cliff-side safely. They located Bear, and secured him in a CMC K9 Rappel Harness, before making the difficult ascent up the cliff-side with the 100 pound dog. Bear was successfully rescued and returned to his anxious guardian.||SMART received is NFPA(National Fire Protection Agency) certified to perform swift-water rescue operations across the country. In July of 2009, SMART received went through swift-water rescue training spending two days at Kern River performing mock rescues during the day and night. They have since made modifications to rescue training geared towards rescuing humans so that it can be applied to saving animals’ lives.|
|Team Member Ramirez prepares to enter L.A. sewer system to rescue a cat in jeopardy.|
|Team Member McCarthy dives into action during Swift-water Rescue Training.|
CMC Rescue / www.cmcrescue.com / 1-800-235-5741
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