APHIS is an emergency response agency that operates under the National Response Framework (NRF), a comprehensive guide on how the nation deals with emergencies. The NRF outlines how federal, state, tribal and local governments, along with the private sector, coordinate emergency response efforts. This framework recognizes distinct support functions that may be needed during an emergency/disaster event or incident. These Emergency Support Functions (ESF) include categories such as transportation, communications and public health/medical services.
SERS, an essential component of the National Wildlife Disease Program, serves as the primary emergency response contact point within APHIS Wildlife Services. SERS has a cadre of wildlife biologists who are prepared to be mobilized within 24-48 hours of a request. NWDP-SERS biologists are provided with extensive Incident Command System training, have current medical clearances for personal protective equipment and have participated in emergency response scenario drills. Selections for requested Incident Response Teams (IRT) depend on the specifics of the request (e.g. immobilization & euthanasia certified, shooter, etc.) and the number of people needed.
SERS will respond to requests for assistance from the following agencies and organizations:
On the Watch for Wildlife Disease (National Wildlife Disease Program printable brochure)