CDART gears up for fire season

by - Story: 55107

As the official responder for domestic animal care during emergencies in the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, CDART (Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team) is gearing up for fire season.

Since January, 2010 with a move of their regular monthly meetings to Kelowna, CDART has more than doubled their initial volunteer membership and is always looking for more people.

In addition to finding and training new volunteers in emergency response protocol, animal first aid, and cross-training with Emergency Social Services, they have been engaging in numerous community appearances to raise awareness of their organization with the public, fund raising for the purchase of disaster response supplies, and sourcing out foster homes, kennels and community buildings to house animals during an emergency.

CDART has also been working with a number of animal groups and organizations on their emergency evacuation plans.

There are two major events coming up that CDART would like to make the public aware of. The first is a large fund raising yard sale on Saturday, June 19 in the southwest parking lot of Prospera Place in Kelowna (Water/Cawston).

The event will run from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. and their offerings include items such as: furniture, books, Christmas decorations, children's clothes and toys, linens, men and ladies' clothing, china, ornaments, craft supplies, framed pictures, baskets, a manly man table, appliances and more. Contact [email protected] for more details.

The second event CDART is promoting to the public is a training course on Emergency First Aid for Companion Animals. This is a one day pet first aid course offered on both July 24 and 25 at Whiskers and Woofers, 3520 Preston Road, West Kelowna.

The course runs from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day and includes lunch. The instructor is Heather Ferguson, CDART's newest Coordinator of the Lower Mainland branch and an instructor with St. John Ambulance.

Participants will learn about pet CPR, choking, poisoning, allergic reactions, wound care, signs and symptoms of shock, dehydration, seizures and more. This course is a certification course and the registration fee is $65. Contact Sandee Kristensen at [email protected] or (250)768-5575 for an application form.

CDART is looking to pre-screen foster homes to billet animals during a disaster. If you are interested in becoming a foster home, please contact Sandee Kristensen at [email protected] or 250-768-5575 for an application form.

If anyone is interested in becoming a CDART volunteer, they are invited to attend the next monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 22 at 6pm in the upstairs meeting room at Choices Markets to find out what CDART is all about.

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