Responder Information

IOSA provides free training for island residents interested in becoming oil spill responders.

Types of training available are:

  • Containment, recovery and diversion of oil on the water;
  • Oiled bird search and rescue, basic care, and advanced treatment;
  • Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response safety training (Hazwoper) for oil containment and oiled wildlife responders;
  • Coordination of different aspects of an oil spill response;
  • You can train to become a containment responder or an oiled wildlife search & rescue responder, or both.  Please call our office at  360-468-3441 for more information.

There are different levels of responders based on how many training hours you accumulate.  All responders (containment or wildlife) need to have Hazwoper safety training.  The levels of response are eight hours, 24 hours, and 40 hours.  IOSA documents your training hours.

All potential responders need to participate in training before an oil spill happens.

As of the end of 2013, IOSA had 288 responders:

  • 117 people are trained as oil containment responders.
  • 48 people have 40 or more training hours (with some people having hundreds of hours of training).
  • 103 people are trained for wildlife response, with 36 of them having over 24 hours of Hazwoper training.
  • Some people participate in both oiled wildlife and containment response training.


Already a Trained IOSA responder?  

Here are some items you typically will want to bring with you to an oil spill when you are out in the field:

  • Rubber boots (IOSA has a small number of boots they can lend out).
  • Rain gear (IOSA will provide this, but at the beginning of a larger spill response, responders may have to use their own rain gear at first).
  • Daypack for personal items such as drinking water, flashlight with extra batteries, matches, binoculars, whistle, snack food, warm clothing.
  • VHF handheld marine radio, if you have one.
  • Change of clothes. Remember to dress in layers for heat and cold.

See the Weather link in the sidebar for current weather information and forecasts.

Community non-profit oil spill response in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

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