One week after Hurricane Katrina, Daniel received a call from a friend who stated she had received a call from a CNN reporter. The reporter wanted assistance to help move and relocate over 1000 horses that were stranded, hungry and hurt in areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
After he talked with a host of friends and shared their desires to help animals when another storm like Katrina hits again. All of them had experienced the pain and insight of what disasters could do.
Months after the above incident, Daniel felt a desire to be prepared to offer his assistance in times of natural disasters. He talked with a host of friends and shared his desire to help animals when a storm like Katrina hits Florida again. All his friends expressed similar concern and interest. From this idea, they decided to form a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting persons and animals in times of natural disaster.
Every one, even the Director of the National Hurricane Center was in shock over the destruction that occurred to their own center's equipment in Miami when Hurricane Andrew hit South Miami in 1992, miles away from the actual eye of the storm.
Even today, the retired National Hurricane Center Director (who was Director during the time Hurricane Andrew), is our inspiration for making this a public display of how to "be smart and evacuate in time" in many books of his experiences which have been published, bringing a new outlook on how the government needs to focus on things we haven't done before in government readiness.
From this experience, all of the members gained first hand insight into all the emotional anguish and pain people (and animals) suffer as a result of disasters. They saw what others might never see in life. When you add it all up, it is easy to understand why Dan wrote a letter to the President of the United States, expressing his desire and the mission to form a better response group to help animals in general during any major disaster like Katrina.
This letter focused on one topic "Perform a mission to save lives as a dedicated team, formed as an "AXLE", working with other agencies in a combined effort with Law Enforcement Officers, Certified First Responder Fire Fighters in training of Advanced Life Support personnel, E.M.T's and Paramedics and Large Animal Vets. This training is vital response time and saving lives.
From the letter he sent to President Bush, the President called the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami, asking them to consider Dan`s plans, experience, knowledge of the military, and fire fighting, and see if he could help them to save lives in the future.
As a follow up to the phone call from the President, the Coast Guard Lt. Commander called Dan to determine Dans level of commitment to the task at hand and the conversation that took place sounded more like a first interview for this mission/position. The officer in charge suggested that Daniel apply all of his years of experience and his knowledge to become the Commander of the proposed organization.
The mission of Healing Spirits Ranch & Rescue, Inc is to work as a Productive and Professional TEAM alongside any law enforcement or fire department, to find missing persons, assist with Amber Alerts for missing children, help to relocate animals (large and small) to safe areas, rendering physical care to the injured animals until the owner can reclaim them, and to have a well trained TEAM to assist in emergency medical treatment of animals. Their areas of expertise includes setting up Landing Zones for Life Flight needs, detouring traffic for critical traffic accidents or Wildfires, and mutual aid in extinguishing brush fires with the U.S. Forestry.
This is NOT an easy task, especially since the Coast Guard asked them to consider responding to more than just "Florida" as soon as possible. The personnel from the group are trained in and become Coast Guard Auxiliary Members and a reliable ground units that works along side the Coast Guard and/or Emergency Operations Management as a 'Mutual Aid' agency.
In fact, that is our whole goal and mission in FACTS. Become the Nationally known and specially trained Unit every state can call upon to work with any agency that faces these types of emergencies, including tornadoes.
The group wants to put the public on alert to "NEVER think you will NOT be hurt." Tornadoes can spawn from hurricanes up to hundreds of miles from an active hurricane. Floods as little as 3" deep of water can cause a car to hydroplane, lose control, crash, cause damage to an engine and brakes, and the list goes on. N.O.A.A. has very good information on the National Website that will educate everyone NOT to take storms for granted.
Daniel and the rest of the group have a strong belief in GOD, and they know that angels have saved not only his life but others many times. This belief gives the group the desire and belief that it is their destiny to help others, including horses, and rescue them from danger.
(((( This is Sheba, 104 lb. Rottweiler is our Service K-9 and aid for Search and Rescue with missing animals and children that are missing who's pretty good at it!!))))
The below two horses are rescued "Mustangs" from the neighborhoods of Rusk County, Texas. These unclaimed horses ran free from farm to farm for months scavaging and surviving on their own for months and weeks. WE ARE PROUD to serve our communities we live in and work in by providing aid to these historic animals that today's economy in rural America fails to care for.