Sampsons Flat Bushfire News - February 2015

Now that it is six weeks since Sampson Flat fire began, SAVEM's role in response phase is winding down.

The public roads are open, and landowners can now access their regular clinician to visit their animals. We have a few which we continue to monitor and assist as we have been there from the beginning.

'Ash' the cat surrendered to our triage centre by a family overwhelmed in their property loss, is doing well and has multiple admirers and possible home offers.

We still attend wildlife coming out of the fireground in desperate condition. Our work however is not done. Our involvement is requested in the Gumeracha Recovery Centre as and when locals need this, and we are very willing to continue in this role.

Additionally, debriefing and After Action Review are important phases in the whole response, from which "lessons learned" enable a continuous evolution of improvement in SAVEM's processes: for "next time".

Read previous updates


SAVEM's role

SAVEM is a Response and Recovery agency.

Our Mission is to Triage, Treat, Rescue and Reunite POST an event.

In response to an Emergency incident, SAVEM is activated by the State Government department, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) to support and work in the emergency area alongside other agencies.

SAVEM was formed initially to meet the needs of companion animals and wildlife, but we are a multi-species agency, and will support and supplement PIRSA in their response to an incident involving livestock and horses.

SAVEM's emergency response structure includes a State Control Centre, Regional Coordination Centres and Local Control Centres supporting in-field activities, ultimately linked back to the State Emergency Centre from which the principal emergency services operate.

What we can do
  • Our Field Operations teams will work to rescue, triage, treat and return animals to their owners.
  • Our Planning teams will collate information from the field and plan to be one step ahead to meet the needs of Field teams.
  • Our Logistics teams will resource the needs of the operation - we can get supplies and veterinary and non-veterinary volunteers into the area after it is re-opened by the Controlling emergency services.
  • We will work with wildlife and companion animals, and support PIRSA's role concerning livestock and horses.

What we can't do

  • We can't go into an emergency area BEFORE we get the all-clear from the Emergency Service which is the designated Control Agency, for example, the CFS is the Control Agency for a bushfire.
  • We can't provide an evacuation service for pets and other animals – it is the responsibility of animal owners to include their pets and other animals in their emergency evacuation plan.


The South Australian Fire & Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM) has funded the SAVEM program in 2011/12 and 2012/13 to enable the provision of Training Workshops in metropolitan Adelaide and in Regional centres, a Public Awareness project and construction of our Website. This is possible via the Emergency Management Volunteer Support Scheme.






Photo of brushtail possum

Site Map

Next course/event...

The Burns Babble
Presented by Dr Anne Fowler in conjunction with representatives from Adelaide Zoo and RAH
Wed 25 March
7pm for 7:30pm start
Tiffins on the Park (RAffles Room)
176 Greenhill Road, Parkside
Free for SAVDDG members, $50 for non-members (all inclusive) or $10 for talk without dinner
South Australian Veterinary Dermetology Discussion Group (SAVDDG)
Brochure for printing (.6 MB, PDF)

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