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October 1, 2009 NJ Task Force 1 (NJ-TF 1) forms alliance with NorthStar VETS
NJ Department of Law and Public Safety Division of State Police, Urban Search and Rescue Team,
NJ Task Force 1 (NJ-TF 1) forms alliance with NorthStar VETS
CLARKSBURG, NJ NorthStar VETS will maintain the pharmaceutical cache for the NJ-TF1 canine technical search and rescue team that has responded to structural collapses and natural disasters such as September 11 and Hurricane Katrina.
The purpose of this alliance is for NorthStar VETS to provide all of the canine pharmaceutical medications, and supplies in accordance with FEMA requirements to be used by NJ-TF1 upon demand. “The primary reason we chose NorthStar VETS is that my 6-year old German Shepperd, Mojo is a patient there,” said Jim Bastan, Search Component Manager. “The second reason is that in the event of emergency the hospital is located less than 15 minutes away from our training facility in Lakehurst.”
The mission of NorthStar VETS is to preserve and protect the health of all animals and to provide optimal health care in every situation. “By helping NJ-TF1 we are also helping to give back to the community,” said Brie Messier, Hospital Administrator. “Storing their medications will assist the task force in fulfilling their life saving duties.” NorthStar VETS will purchase, store, rotate and release the pharmaceuticals as specified by the team.
NJ-TF1 is comprised of over 250 volunteers. “About 90 percent of our volunteers are firefighters and the rest consist of medics, doctors, engineers, dog handlers, police officers and civilians.” Bastan said “All of them work a regular job and then report to the facility to train in emergency preparedness.” Like NorthStar VETS, the NJ-TF1 is on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “In the event of an emergency a mass communication is sent to every volunteer’s phone, e-mail, fax, pager etc. and will continue to send alerts until the volunteer responds back,” Bastan said. “The computer will then generate a report about who will be responding to the crisis.”
Upon deployment NJ-TF1 will recover all medications, supplies, and equipment needed to respond to the emergency. A minimum of two doctors, one nurse, four paramedics and one veterinarian are deployed upon emergency. “We are a resource for disaster when all capabilities have been exhausted, contact us, we’re here to help,” Bastan said.
NJ-TF1 was established in 1996 by a group of firefighters to address the Technical Rescue void in the states emergency response plan. The team currently resides within the Division of State Police, Homeland Security Branch, Emergency Management Section, Emergency Preparedness Bureau, and USAR Unit. NJTF-1 responded to the World Trade Center incident in Sept. 2001, the Atlantic City parking garage collapse in Oct. 2003, Warren County flood/swift water events in Sept. 2004, the Eatontown commercial building gas explosion in Mar. 2005, Hurricane Katrina in Sept. 05 and several other technical search and rescue assists throughout the State.
NorthStar VETS, strives to provide patients with the finest practitioners, modernized technology, exceptional customer service, and optimal health care. To learn more about NorthStar VETS’ full range of specialty veterinary expertise or directions to its centrally located hospital, please call 609-259-8300 or visit www.northstarvets.com.