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SPCA Rescue: Operation Edgecumbe After Action Report

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SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
1
Report Date: October 2017
Event Date: April 2017
ISBN # 978-0-473-40328-7
OPERATION: EDGECUMBE
Operation Edgecumbe:
After Action Report
RESCUE
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Executive Summary
Wellington SPCA owns and operates a technical rescue squad known as the SPCA National Rescue Unit
(NRU). Since its inception (1995) this team of volunteers has responded to hundreds of emergencies
primarily in the Wellington region, but also to disasters like the Canterbury 2011 earthquake. To date
the NRU has a 99% live save rate and is highly respected in the industry. As a leader in technical animal
rescue SPCA NRU methodology has informed the development of the internationally recognised
standard for technical animal rescue in 2014 (NFPA1670:2014). The NRU provides a wide range of
capability including high angle rescue, swiftwater/flood, confined space, boat operations, urban
search and rescue, and large animal rescue. It is funded entirely by donations and grants and is a free
service to the community.
On the evening of Thursday 6 April 2017, the NRU was formally approved by the RNZSPCA National
Support Office in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to deploy to the flood
affected township of Edgecumbe (pop. 1,600) which had been evacuated of people but pets had been
left behind. The NRU mustered available crew along with Wellington SPCA Emergency Reservists (also
volunteers) and travelled through the night to meet with staff from the local SPCA at Whakatane. On
Friday 7 April 2017, a reconnaissance of surrounding rural areas was undertaken and then the NRU,
along with the local SPCA Inspector, headed to the evacuated township of Edgecumbe. There they
commenced a search of houses closest to the breached stop-bank and rescued several animals from
properties until sunset. Assistance was requested from Massey University and their team of rescue
veterinary professionals deployed overnight from their base in Palmerston North.
The large-scale rescue of companion animals from Edgecumbe commenced on Saturday 8 April 2017;
a Command Unit was provided by Whakatane Emergency Response Team (NZRT17) and established
as the ICP for the animal rescue operation. A Fire Service Task Force Liaison Officer was assigned to
support the SPCA led operation; he also provided access to radio communications, decontamination
showers, and was appointed the Incident Safety Officer. The SPCA reported to MPI National Animal
Welfare Emergency Management Coordinator based at the Whakatane District Emergency Operations
Centre. The Whakatane Emergency Response Team also participated in the rescue operation and
provided significant logistical support. It was recommended that additional emergency response
teams (CDEM NZRTs), particularly those with flood rescue capability, along with USAR personnel be
deployed into the flood affected area to expedite the mission. However, these teams were not
deployed as there were no longer humans present in the evacuated area. As such only animal rescue
personnel were onsite to work in the contaminated flood waters.
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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After seven days the rescue operation was complete; during this period 945 animals were rescued in
Edgecumbe making this event the largest companion animal rescue in NZ history (cf. Hurricane Katrina
animal rescues 5,000-10,000). Whakatane SPCA led the reunification of the majority of these animals
as well as held and cared for displaced animals affected by the disaster. This event also historically
marked the first deployment of the SPCA Emergency Reserve capability.
The cost of deploying the NRU was approximately NZD $5,000 in direct costs and NZD $25,000 in in-
direct costs (e.g. wages/salaries, overheads). Direct costs were reimbursed by the RNZSPCA National
Support Office. No government funding was given to reimburse the SPCA.
There were significant challenges and lessons learned from this operation. The failure to evacuate pets
alongside pet owners created significant public safety and political risks. To ensure future responses
align with international best practice it is critical that police and defence personnel understand the
importance of protecting animals in disaster as this directly relates to the safety of the human
population. This animal rescue operation has highlighted specific processes and procedures where the
SPCA needs to improve; these include additional training in forced entry and developing more
command/Incident Management Team (IMT) capability. Moreover, additional research is needed to
help improve both animal emergency management policy and practice.
MPI actively engaged in this rescue operation and it was of great benefit to have them embedded in
the Emergency Operations Centre. However, to operate efficiently MPI personnel need additional
training, experience and resource in this area. They also require the development of improved
information management systems to inform the coordination of such responses. Alternatively, they
should review their capacity and resourcing around facilitation of the Regional Animal Welfare
Coordination (RAWC) function.
Given the public expectation for the SPCA to respond to these types of incidents, the new One SPCA
Board should give strong consideration to resourcing and expanding this capability further.
Steve Glassey MEmergMgt PGDipEmergMgt PGCPM GCTSS CertAWI CEM®
Chief Executive Officer
Wellington SPCA
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Lessons Identified Initial Observations
Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Ref
NRU
NSO
MPI
CDEM
POL
FENZ
NZDF
90
91
92
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Abbreviations
CAT1A Category One Awareness Level (USAR training level)
CDEM Civil Defence Emergency Management
CIMS Coordinated Incident Management System
EOC Emergency Operations Centre (Whakatane District Council)
ER Emergency Reserve
ERT Emergency Response Team
FENZ Fire & Emergency New Zealand (formerly NZ Fire Service)
HUHA Helping You Help Animals (animal charity)
IAP Incident Action Plan
ICP Incident Control Point
IMT Incident Management Team
INSARAG International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (United Nations)
MCDEM Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MPI Ministry for Primary Industries
MSD Ministry of Social Development
NRU National Rescue Unit (a volunteer team owned/operated by Wellington SPCA).
NSO National Support Office, Royal NZ SPCA
NZDF NZ Defence Force
NZFS NZ Fire Service
NZRT NZ Response Team
OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (United Nations)
POL NZ Police
RAWC Regional Animal Welfare Coordinator
UN United Nations
USAR Urban Search & Rescue
WAP World Animal Protection
WDC Whakatane District Council
WERT Whakatane Emergency Response Team (NZRT17)
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Photographs
Above: Assembly Area at Whakatane Rural Fire Depot
Above: NRU on RDC with ER and local vet on IRB.
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Above: Chickens rescued by NRU
Above: Command Unit established in Edgecumbe.
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Above: Animal CCP established near ICP with crates from MasterPet.
Above: Locals help NRU save cows that were at risk of drowning farther up the road.
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Above: A dog run, after being washed several properties away, was crushed due to the flood waters.
It had entrapped at least one dog that was then rescued by the SPCA.
Above: WERT member rescues chickens from the flood affected area.
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Above: Fire Service and Animal Control supported the rescue operation and worked well with the
SPCA.
Above: Local and neighbouring SPCA groups provided help (e.g. Rotorua SPCA).
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Above: This dog was one of the first animals to be rescued by the NRU.
Above: Some structures had been seriously damaged.
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Media Links
https://www.wellingtonspca.org.nz/about-us/news-and-publications/spca-to-the-rescue-in-
edgecumbe/
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91373857/130-animals-rescued-from-flood-ravaged-
Edgecumbe?cid=app-iPhone
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-dedicated-spca-members-search-
edgecumbe-pets-after-horrifically-stressful-ordeal
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-spca-rescue-black-cat-plucked-floodwaters-
outside-edgecumbe-home
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91357194/spca-rescues-50-animals-from-floodstricken-
edgecumbe-in-one-day
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91309111/animal-agencies-band-together-to-help-the-pets-of-
flooded-edgecumbe
http://whakatanebeacon.co.nz/2017/04/animal-tales-and-the-spca/
SPCA NRU & ER Deployment Roll
Steve Glassey, SPCA Incident Controller
Ritchie Dawson, SPCA Alternate Incident Controller
Gina Kemp, NRU Team Leader
Francesca Walker, Rescue Technician
Jennifer Rizzi, Rescue Technician
Adam Sheehan, SPCA Emergency Reservist
Hannah Henderson, SPCA Emergency Reservist
Courtney Jamieson, SPCA Emergency Reservist
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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Acknowledgements
Wellington SPCA wishes to thank the RNZSPCA National Support Office (in particular Alan Wilson and
Sheree Pell), Whakatane SPCA (in particular Senior Inspector Liisa Jones), Whakatane Emergency
Response Team (NZRT17), Whakatane District Council, Rotorua SPCA, Rotorua Emergency Response
Team (NZRT15), Sean Cooney (National Board), Massey University (Veterinary), Rotorua Emergency
Response Team (NZRT15), Master Pet, Orix Leasing, Ministry for Primary Industries (in particular
Wayne Ricketts), New Zealand Fire Service, local veterinarians, and the community who supported
the Edgecumbe animal rescue operation.
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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About the author
Steve Glassey
Chief Executive Officer, Wellington SPCA
Masters in Emergency Management Charles Sturt University
Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management Massey University
Postgraduate Certificate in Public Management Victoria University of Wellington
Graduate Certificate in Terrorism, Safety & Security Charles Sturt University
Certificate in Animal Welfare Investigations Unitec Auckland
Steve has been the Chief Executive Officer of Wellington SPCA since September 2015. He previously
worked for the Wellington SPCA for nearly two decades ago as the youngest warranted SPCA Inspector
in NZ history; he is now the youngest CEO in their history. He leads a nationally recognised organisation
comprising over 60 staff and 1,100 volunteers who care for over 6,000 animals across its Newtown
and Waikanae Animal Care Centres. The Wellington SPCA is also home to the National Rescue Unit
which is the country’s first technical animal rescue team. The NRU was established 20 years ago and
has rescued hundreds of animals from danger including during the Christchurch 2011 earthquake.
Steve's 15 years of commitment to the public safety industry have seen him rise to positions such as:
General Manager (Emergency Management & Business Continuity) at New Zealand's largest
government department, the Ministry of Social Development including being the ministry
representative to the Officials Domestic and External Security Committee (ODESC); Disaster
Management Officer with the United Nations; Emergency Management Advisor (USAR) for the
Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management; USAR Category II Technician for New Zealand
Fire Service Task Force 1; and Chief Executive of the Emergency Management Academy of New
Zealand. In 2008 Steve was awarded the prestigious Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) credential
by the International Association of Emergency Managers.
His skills and experience in co-ordinating a disaster response are sought-after internationally and he
has responded to events such as the Samoan Tsunami (2009), H1N1 Lao PDR (2009), Typhoon Ketsana
in South East Asia (2009), Christchurch Earthquake (2011) and Super Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines
(2013). Steve has additional national qualifications in adult education, business, urban search and
rescue, specialist rescue, outdoor recreation, fire rescue services and health and safety. In 2014, he,
along with Constable Geoff Bray, became the first New Zealanders to be awarded the prestigious
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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international Higgins & Langley medal for the development of the Swiftwater Recovery
Specialist training programme. He also led the development and teaching of a new series of
postgraduate qualifications in emergency management at Massey University, in his former role as
Assistant Director (Teaching) at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research. He has delivered emergency
management workshops and projects in the United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines,
Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Thailand and the USA, and has assisted with humanitarian aid work in many of
these countries. He is the former Chair of the CEM Commissioner for the International Association of
Emergency Managers (Oceania-Asia CEM Commission), founding and former Editor-in-Chief for
the Journal of Search and Rescue and the Honorary Ambassador to New Zealand for Rescue 3
International, where he is also an Instructor Trainer for rope, water, animal and boat rescue
specialisations.
He has peer-reviewed manuscripts for the Australasian Journal of Emergency Management,
Australasian Journal of Trauma & Disaster Studies, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management,
Animals and Journal of Search & Rescue. He is New Zealand's first Fellow of the Emergency Planning
Society and an Alumnus of the Asia Pacific Programme for Senior National Security Officers (APPSNO).
He is currently continuing his research into animal disaster management as a doctorate candidate with
Otago University and an associate of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies at the
University of Canterbury.
Contact: steveg@wellingtonspca.or.nz | steve.glassey@hotmail.com
www.linkedin.com/in/steveglassey
SPCA | Operation Edgecumbe 2017 | After Action Report
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ISBN #
978-0-473-40328-7
... This paper compares the disaster management response to these two events, reviewing 'After Action Reports' (Glassey, 2017a;Glassey and Anderson, 2019). These reports were written by the primary author (Glassey) who was involved in both the animal emergency responses and post-incident reporting in his roles with the SPCA National Rescue Unit (Edgecumbe flood) and Animal Evac New Zealand (Nelson fires) respectively. ...
... These reports were written by the primary author (Glassey) who was involved in both the animal emergency responses and post-incident reporting in his roles with the SPCA National Rescue Unit (Edgecumbe flood) and Animal Evac New Zealand (Nelson fires) respectively. In this paper we will not engage in critical analysis of the lessons revealed in the After Action Reports (Glassey, 2017a;Glassey and Anderson, 2019). Instead, we have assumed that the application of lessons identified from previous events (termed 'lessons learned') would improve future disaster responses, particularly with respect to public safety and animal welfare. ...
... In the days that followed, a multi-agency response to rescue and recover the animals left behind was mounted, including the Ministry for Primary Industries, Massey University Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT), Whakatane Emergency Response Team (WERT), Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and local veterinarians, farmers and veterinarians. This was the largest animal rescue in New Zealand history (Glassey, 2017a). To give scale to this emergency, 15 homes were destroyed (or made uninhabitable) and a further 252 homes required repairs before being reoccupied (Shanks, 2018). ...
... This paper compares the disaster management response to these two events, reviewing 'After Action Reports' (Glassey, 2017a;Glassey and Anderson, 2019). These reports were written by the primary author (Glassey) who was involved in both the animal emergency responses and post-incident reporting in his roles with the SPCA National Rescue Unit (Edgecumbe flood) and Animal Evac New Zealand (Nelson fires) respectively. ...
... These reports were written by the primary author (Glassey) who was involved in both the animal emergency responses and post-incident reporting in his roles with the SPCA National Rescue Unit (Edgecumbe flood) and Animal Evac New Zealand (Nelson fires) respectively. In this paper we will not engage in critical analysis of the lessons revealed in the After Action Reports (Glassey, 2017a;Glassey and Anderson, 2019). Instead, we have assumed that the application of lessons identified from previous events (termed 'lessons learned') would improve future disaster responses, particularly with respect to public safety and animal welfare. ...
... In the days that followed, a multi-agency response to rescue and recover the animals left behind was mounted, including the Ministry for Primary Industries, Massey University Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT), Whakatane Emergency Response Team (WERT), Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and local veterinarians, farmers and veterinarians. This was the largest animal rescue in New Zealand history (Glassey, 2017a). To give scale to this emergency, 15 homes were destroyed (or made uninhabitable) and a further 252 homes required repairs before being reoccupied (Shanks, 2018). ...
Article
This paper compares the animal emergency management related lessons identified after two different disasters in New Zealand: the 2017 Edgecumbe Flood event and the 2019 Nelson Fires. It uses an ethnographic content analysis to compare two ‘after action’ reports and identity common themes, and lesson learning between events. It concludes that only seven per cent of lessons identified in the Edgecumbe Flood were applied at the Nelson Fires, nearly two years afterwards. Common issues related to training, capability, law, policy, planning, information management and incident management. The paper makes a number of recommendations from its analysis for improving animal emergency management arrangements, both domestically and abroad.
... This highlights the fact that the "animal issue" creates problems for police and security officials, yet emergency services in New Zealand and many other countries still adopt an institutional attitude of "people first." While excluding pets in evacuation efforts, they put their own staff and re sources at risk due to illegally returning evacuees (Glassey, 2017A;Glassey & Wilson, 2011). ...
... Animal rescue has become a major element in disaster rescue in the early 21st century, yet national and international protocols such as disaster search-marking systems often omit this evolving element of response. During the Edgecumbe 2017 flood event (New Zealand), the public were incorrectly advised by civil defense authorities that buildings marked with the letter "C" in a diamond had been condemned, when in fact the marking -as per the INSARAG guidelines-indicated the structure was "clear" of persons (Glassey, 2017A). The reality of modern society is that animals will be searched for and rescued during disasters. ...
Article
Public policy around animal welfare in disaster management is a new field, both in practice and in research. Early studies in the 1990s paved the way for a wider and more internationally focused approach to the challenge of protecting both people and animals during disasters, with some countries introducing specific legislative instruments to afford animals better protection in such events. Such reforms are largely motivated by the recognition of the bond humans often have with animals, and the likelihood that they will behave in a way that is protective of them, even at the risk of compromising human safety. However, the issues around animal disaster management and the associated policy are complex and are best categorized as a wicked problem. Production animals are generally highly vulnerable to disaster due to high stock densities and lack of hazard mitigation. However, it is the lack of human–animal bond that leaves these animals largely without disaster-risk-reduction advocacy. In contrast, companion animals that enjoy the paternalistic protection of their guardians benefit from greater rights, and their advocates have a stronger voice to effect change in public policy through democratic processes. This article looks at the historical development of policy and legal reform of animal disaster management in a global context and draws upon numerous studies to provide evidence-based arguments as to why animals matter in disasters and why there are significant public safety and political benefits in protecting them
... In April 2017, the sudden flooding of Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty resulted in over 1,000 animals being left behind in need of rescue after the township was evacuated [2]. Many of the owners of these animals returned secretly in defiance to rescue their animals. ...
Book
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A booklet that covers how pet owners can get prepared for emergencies and includes an emergency plan template.
Technical Report
Full-text available
A comprehensive review of laws and an associated legal arrangements pertaining to animal welfare during emergencies in New Zealand, and recommendations how the New Zealand government can improve its statutory arrangements to better protect pets and people following the lessons for the Christchurch (2010, 20111) earthquakes, Kaikoura Earthquake (2016) and Edgecumbe Flood (2017). The report was supported by Gareth Hughes MP and presented to the NZ Parliament in January, 2019, published by Animal Evac New Zealand Trust.
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