Animal Emergency Response Specialist, South Florida
American Humane Association seeks an experienced Animal Emergency Response Specialist to provide disaster response services and training for South Florida communities, working in association with first responders, civic leaders, animal protection advocates, health care providers and families to prepare for and cope when crises and disasters strike. The Animal Emergency Response Specialist will make the services of American Humane Association’s Red Star Program for Kids and Animals available locally on a year-round basis for South Florida communities, providing training on emergency response and animal-assisted therapy to enrich the lives of children, veterans and the elderly, rescuing and sheltering animals impacted by natural disasters and cases of animal cruelty, and delivering needed education, pet food and medical supplies to help families recover from community disasters.
The Animal Emergency Response Specialist will be based in the Palm Beaches and will travel as needed to provide training and emergency response services. American Humane Association stands ready to deploy more than 200 trained volunteers in carrying out emergency animal sheltering with the highest level of quality assurance.
For 135 years American Humane Association has been the nation’s leading voice for the protection of children and animals, the most vulnerable in our communities. As one of this country’s oldest humanitarian groups – and the only one devoted to this dual mission and the power of the human-animal bond - American Humane Association has since 1877 been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the prevention of abuse and neglect and the promotion of wellbeing of our most precious assets.
● Administers responses of Red Star and associated resources in natural disasters, animal cruelty cases and community crises
● Assesses when and what resources are required during an emergency response and deploys Red Star resources as appropriate, including staff, volunteers, vehicles and other equipment and materials
● During emergency responses, interfaces with Incident Command and makes critical, timely decisions involving personnel, equipment and supplies; works with staff and volunteers deployed on the ground; searches for injured, displaced or stranded animals in the field
● Drives the Red Star™ Rescue Vehicle during responses.
● Works collaboratively with shelter teams to provide emergency animal sheltering, assuring safety and well-being of animals, staff and volunteers; provides work direction through delegated responsibilities to appropriate staff and volunteer leads
● Provides various reports during and after emergency responses
● Represents American Humane Association at public events, reflecting the mission and values of the institution
● Works collaboratively with senior leaders and volunteer teams to continually improve program efficiencies and expand program reach
● Actively networks with regional animal welfare and animal sheltering organizations
● Seeks and delivers public speaking engagements, radio and TV interviews and social networking, coordinating public appearances with AHA’s communications strategy and Communications department
● Provides stories, data and content on responses for Communications and Philanthropic Services staff for use on website, appeals, funding proposals, projects and general public information
● Monitors national and international animal health and welfare trends as well as weather, news, internet, FEMA and pre-configured emergency alerts for potential emergency deployment activities; keeps CEO and senior management updated on emerging issues
● Tracks cases of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect nationwide for possible deployment or visibility opportunities; keeps CEO and senior management updated on emerging issues
● Provides coaching and mentoring to Red Star staff and team lead volunteers before, during and after emergency responses; assures volunteers are debriefed after responses and receive appropriate after-care and support as appropriate
● Ensures that all program and training materials are up to date and reflective of best practices in incident command, emergency response, AVMA standards and guidelines; includes volunteer handbook, training manuals, handouts and presentations, standard operating procedures, policies, documentation and animal disaster publications
Working in coordination with the Emergency Services Training Manager, promotes, plans and delivers emergency response and sheltering training, as well as other related training, for community volunteers, first responders and other interested participants.
Essential experience, knowledge, skills and abilities:
● At least 3 years of experience in animal health or animal welfare, including animal sheltering experience
● Veterinarian or veterinary technician preferred
● Bachelor’s degree in an animal health-related field or equivalent combination of education and experience
● Direct experience and knowledge of principles and practices associated with safe animal handling and rescue techniques and procedures, as well as animal-assisted therapy
● Certification in swift water rescue and other technical rescue procedures desirable
● Excellent verbal and written communication skills; active listening
● Extensive experience with principles and practices associated with animal welfare including animal care, shelter operations, humane education and animal cruelty
● Familiarity with various emergency services organizations and their functions, i.e. state offices of emergency management, state veterinarians, the USDA and FEMA
● Excellent verbal and written communication skills; active listening
● Adept at building collaborative relationships and demonstrating diplomacy with diverse constituencies, including first responders, emergency management representatives, animal rescue organizations and the public
● Demonstrated ability to provide effective, timely leadership decisions in crisis situations
● Stand up training skills and experience for providing group and individual instruction
● Have or be willing to obtain a commercial driver license (CDL)
Physical demands and work environment:
● Periodic travel, often on short notice for emergency responses
● Must meet the physical requirements of the National Volunteer Responders Organization
● May require lifting 70 pounds or more on occasion
● Possible exposure to hazardous conditions such as fire, flood, hazmat and demolished structures
● Exposure to potential animal hazards such as animal bites and zoonosis
● May require immunization against Hepatitis A & B, Rabies and Tetanus
American Humane Association offers competitive compensation along with a comprehensive benefits package, including: medical, dental, vision and flex benefits as well as paid time off, a retirement plan and more.
Employees are expected to adhere to all organizational policies and to act as role models, demonstrating American Humane Association’s core values: Compassion, integrity, respect for all, dedication to mission and sustainability.
American Humane Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer