About

About Us

The Story of Us

This is Bruiser, our now 12 year old Yorkshire Terrier. Several years ago my husband and I were driving home from Baltimore when I received a call from my dog sitter telling us that he [the dog] was not feeling well. Panic immediately set in. It was 2am and we were half way between Maryland and Ohio imagining the absolute worst.

We arrived home to find that Bruiser was indeed very ill. Afraid and in tears, I put him in the backseat of my car and raced like a bat out of hell, at better than 90 mph, to the nearest emergency vet. As I was driving, I remember having two distinct thoughts — 1. If I speed by the police, they will have to chase me all the way to the vet and arrest me after I drop Bruiser off because I am not stopping, and 2. There has got to be a better way than this to handle emergencies.

After breaking traffic laws in at least three separate municipalities, we made it to the vet. I am happy to report that Bruiser was (and is) good as new. However, the entire incident has scarred me for life, and I have been obsessed with figuring out how to address this problem, not only with my own pets, but for all pets. I began asking everyone I saw with a pet or those who work with pets, “What would you do if your pet experiences some type of medical emergency or trauma?” Overwhelmingly the answer I received was a resounding “I don’t know.”
So that is how Squad FiftyOne began. We set out to answer that very question: “What would you do?

Incidentally, people always ask how we came up with the name Squad FiftyOne. For those of you who are not old enough to remember, back in ancient times – the 1970s – there was a popular tv drama entitled “Emergency!” This was a show about the daily ins and outs of a L.A. Fire Department Paramedic Unit and the unit was Squad 51. It was one of my favorite shows and calling my business by the same name is just my little way of paying tribute.

You can watch a thrilling episode here: Emergency!

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Yalanda Medina, M.Sc., CVP

Principal / CEO

As a long time supporter of animal welfare, it has been a dream of Yalanda’s to provide pets with medical care in emergencies just like that of humans. She is a Cleveland native and parent of a stubborn Yorkie named Bruiser. (see Chief Canine Officer)

Before entering the world of veterinary care, Yalanda has a background in economic research and financial management and is an alumni of Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management.

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Sarah Husseini, DVM

Medical Director

Passionate about all aspects of providing emergency care, Dr. Husseini has special interest in internal medicine, surgery, and geriatric care. Her favorite aspects of veterinary medicine are witnessing the human-animal bond and helping her patients feel better.

She was a full time Buckeye, earning a bachelor's degree in Zoology, a minor in Business, and her DVM from the Ohio State University. She has two spoiled pets at home, a kitty named Alfie and a pitbull mix named Theo. Her hobbies include hiking, running, and playing guitar.

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Nichole Martovitz, RVT, CPhT, VTS (ECC)

Registered Veterinary Technician, VTS

A native of Brunswick, Oh., Nichole has spent the last 22+ years in veterinary medicine. She earned her AAS in Veterinary Technology from Cuyahoga Community College and her area of expertise includes critical care nursing.

As a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) she is one of only approximate 500 technicians in the U.S. whose certification is in that of Emergency and Critical Care (ECC). Additionally, Nichole is a Certified Pharmacy Technician, receiving her AAS in Pharmacy Technology also from Cuyahoga Community College.

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Amy Jones, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Amy has spent the last 22 years caring for animals as an Emergency Veterinary Technician. She earned her AAS in Veterinary Technology from the University of Cincinnati where she was awarded the Veterinary Technology Student of the Year Scholarship. She is an active member of the Society for the Improved Conditions of Stray Animals (SICSA) as well as a volunteer for the Buckeye Border Collie Rescue.

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Catlin James, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

10 year veteran of Emergency & ICU veterinary care and practice management, Catlin earned her AAS in Veterinary Nursing from Stautzenberger College. Her compassion and love for animals drives her to excellence. Catlin is also a long time breeder of champion English Bulldogs and is the owner of Stone Lion Kennels.

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Andrew Najdusak, NREMP-P

Operations Manager

Andrew has spent the last 15 years in healthcare with 6 of those years being in Emergency Medicine as a Paramedic for the City of Sharon, PA. In addition, he is also a certified CPR instructor with the American Heart Association. Andrew has been able to apply his vast knowledge of human ambulance operations and emergency rescue to veterinary care. He is the parent of 3 very spoiled dogs--Honey, Brody, and Tigger.

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Bruiser Aristotle, CCO

Chief Canine Officer

Bruiser is a hard-nosed, no nonsense Yorkshire Terrier who fancies himself by keeping the rest of us in line.

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David Brock, Ph.D

Territory Representative & Community Outreach

A Cleveland native, Dave earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Missouri. A former history professor, he now uses his exceptional communication skills to advocate for both people and pets alike. As a lifelong dog lover, he looks forward to aiding those for whom a pet is a member of the family. Dave is a huge fan of his hometown and runs a very successful blog dedication to all things Cleveland: www.clevelandbrocks.org.

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George Booth

Disaster Management / CPR & First Aid Instructor

Owner of Canine Professional Services, George travels throughout Ohio instructing individuals, animal care facilities, and school children in Pet CPR, Pet First Aid, and Pet Safety. George is also our liaison with local emergency service providers and law enforcement.

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