Tag Archives: Safety

Oiled Wildlife Search & Rescue and Initial Care — RESCHEDULED — to May 21, 2017

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May 21st, Sunday.
The island the training is on is yet to be determined.

This class will give you the basics in oiled seabird search and rescue (including a practice session on the beach), oiled seabird initial care (using some of the 35 domesticated ducks we have here on Lopez), safety training relating to oiled seabird rescue and care, and a basic introduction to IOSA and where we fit in the oil spill response community.

When oil spills on the water, especially a thicker oil like crude oil or bunker fuel, it can get on the feathers of seabirds (these are birds that spend most of their time on or in the water and little time on land).  The oil coats the feathers, which then can’t interlock together and the birds are thus prevented from staying waterproof (sort of like a hole in a dry suit.  The cold water can then get to their skin and causes them to become hypothermic and come onto land to stay warmer.

The best we can do for these birds, once they get oiled, is to rescue them and bring them in for initial care.  During initial care we warm them up, flush the petroleum out of their system, give them fluids, and wipe off any oil that is blocking their nostrils or is in their mouth.

There are Wildlife Rehabilitation Mobile Response Units that are available to be set up within 24 hours in a warehouse on the mainland that has the needed electricity and water capabilities needed for longer term care.  Once the Mobile Response Units are set up, oiled birds can be sent there for ongoing treatment, stabilization, and washing.  When the birds are healthy again and have spent time in salt water pools, they are released into the wild.   Click here for more information on these Mobile Response Units.

To be able to help oiled wildlife in an oil spill, this training is needed along with additional Hazwoper Safety Training.  This training session focuses on the initial rescue and care before the birds are transported to the Mobile Response Units.

If you are interested in attending this training, please sign up below.  Preregistration is required.  We look forward to meeting you!

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Wildlife Care Training

HAZWOPER Safety Training on November 19th, Orcas Island.

Would you like to assist at an oil spill in San Juan County?  Then come to our Safety Training class on Orcas Island on November 19th, from 11:30am to 5:45pm.  In this class you will learn what you need to know to keep yourself safe during an oil spill.

Imagine a large vessel starts leaking crude oil in Rosario Strait.  The oil moves down Rosario Strait hitting Sucia Island, the north and west sides of Orcas, Blakely, Decatur, and the west side of Lopez.  Responders would be needed to set containment boom at Sucia Island and other spots.  Responders would also need to be out looking for oiled wildlife.

In order to be a responder during an oil spill, you need HAZWOPER Training.  Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training (HAZWOPER) is a requirement for all oil spill workers whether you are working to contain oil on the water, on the shoreline, or are involved in search and rescue or basic care of oiled wildlife.  In this training you will learn such things as:  how to rescue someone who has fallen overboard, what are the signs of petroleum products exposure, safety hazards to look out for, the correct use of response equipment, what personal protection equipment do you need to wear, what is involved in the incident command system, and what are your rights and responsibilities, among other things.

Rover spill 1993 This photo is from an oil spill at the dock at Jackson’s Beach on San Juan Island.  You can see the amount of debris that is in the water, along with the sorbent pads that are soaking up the oil inside the yellow oil containment boom.  In working at this site someone would have done air monitoring to make sure that the air was safe to breathe, you would need to lift pieces of debris and sorbent pads (soaked with oil) out of the water correctly so as not to hurt your back, place bagged oiled sorbents and debris in a decontamination area (which would be constructed on site), and you would need to wear the correct gear to protect yourself from the oil.  If you were out searching for oiled birds on the beach, you would need to know the most efficient and safest way to capture the birds, while looking out for hazards on the beach.

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Sneaking up on an “oiled bird” (a person with a ball hiding in the logs) during a search and rescue training.

We invite you to Islands Oil Spill Association’s HAZWOPER class where you can learn all of the above and much more.  With the class, and some take home work, you can receive 8 hours of training, which is the minimum you need to help out at an oil spill.  Please join us for this training where you will learn how to keep yourself safe in responding to an oil spill, as well as learn about oiled wildlife care and oil containment.

Please register for this class by filling out the below form and we will send you information on where the class will be held and other information on the class.