CLEVELAND – A Cleveland woman’s job layoff, paired with a life-and-death health scare for her lively pup, sparked an idea that spawned into an Ohio first.
“We’re the only ones in the state who do any type of medical transport, so we’re sort of like veterinary paramedics,” said Squad FiftyOne owner Yalanda Medina.
Medina says Squad FiftyOne staff are required to become certified in Pet CPR, that’s in addition to the team’s veterinary technicians. For varying fees Squad FiftyOne, will transport pets and their owners for both emergency and non emergency calls 24/7. Many clients say the biggest barrier to sick or injured pets is simply access to care.
“I’m not a highway driver so I am so grateful that the veterinarian hospital referred me to Yolanda,” said Ester Kritharakis, as she loaded her dog Toby into the van bound for chemo treatments at the vet.
The company’s name came from Medina’s favorite 1970s television show Emergency, a drama that following Squad 51 of the L.A. Fire Department Paramedic Unit.
“It’s tough it’s a lot of work and sometimes you wonder why on earth are you doing this,” said Medina. “…[but] we get to help so many people who are so grateful and so thankful there’s someone they can call when they need help the most.”