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EOC Responsibilities

Membership Guidelines

To be a member of our Equine Evacuation Unit, you must be at least 18 years of age, be a Santa Cruz County resident (or live in very close proximity) who is an experienced horse handler, who owns horse a trailer/ (or has access to one) or who will be riding along as the helper/navigator and wants to become part of the several Equine Evacuation Unit trailer teams in the county.


Our members respond to emergencies under the direction of Animals Services and our units Trailer Team Leaders and Staging Area Managers, and must be able to respond quickly to an emergency evacuation situation and handle horses (or other animals) in stressful and at times dangerous situations.


Team members must be physically able to work with horses and other large animals and mentally and emotionally able to work in very stressful and at times dangerous environments. Team members must follow the direction of team leaders and other unit administration or County Animal Services, and must wait until they have been officially activated by SC County OES and their team leaders prior to responding as an official Equine Evacuation DSW.  Only our members may respond when activated, non-members can not participate as drivers or ride alongs, and all rigs must be certified as road worthy by team leaders before being used in evacuations. Trailer drivers must be at least 25 years old and have proof of insurance.


Prior to any action or statement which might significantly affect or obligate the unit, volunteers should seek prior consultation and approval from appropriate staff. These actions may include, but are not limited to, public statements to the press or representing SCCEE to other organizations, coalition or lobbying efforts with other organizations, or any agreements involving contractual or other financial obligations.  Please direct all inquiries by the press to our administrative team and official spokespeople, Kenneth and Susan Coale and Lyn Hood.   In the interest of respecting the privacy of those we evacuate, please do not take pictures or make films of people we are assisting.


The Santa Cruz County Equine Evacuation Unit accepts the service of all volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of the unit leadership team. Volunteers agree that the Santa Cruz County Equine Evacuation Unit may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to terminate the volunteer’s relationship with the unit. The volunteer may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to sever the volunteer’s relationship with the Santa Cruz County Equine Evacuation Unit.  Application to become a member and / or completion of the new member training does not guarantee an offer of membership.  Membership is at the discretion of the Equine Evacuation leadership team.


"These fires are one of the great dangers of California. I have seen from Monterey as many as three at the same time, by day a cloud of smoke, by night a red coal of conflagration in the distance. A little thing will start them, and, if the wind be favorable, they gallop over miles of country faster than a horse." — The year was 1879. The writer was Robert Louis Stevenson.

Santa Cruz Equine Evacuation Unit works under the auspices of the Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Services, and in cooperation with the Santa Cruz Animal Services Authority