ADVANCED Oiled Wildlife Responder training course in Ireland
EUROWA partners Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend (WRCO)/ Belgium and PRO Bird e.V. / Germany delivered a four-day ADVANCED Oiled Wildlife Responder training course in Foynes, Ireland in October 2018.The event was hosted by the Irish Oiled Wildlife Response Network (OWRN) and supported by the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team (SEA-PT).
To be eligible for ADVANCED Responder training, participants must have completed the BASIC Responder training course and taken an online test. Claude Velter (WRCO) and Sascha Regmann (PRO Bird), who provided this ADVANCED Responder training, have given that Basic Responder course in Ireland in past years.
Pauline Beades, Laura Kavanagh, and Helen Silke of OWRN organised the training event and worked hard on the preparation of the comprehensive four-day course. The content of the course focuses on more detailed Search & Rescue techniques and Health & Safety issues as well as rehabilitation standards, washing, rinsing and drying procedures, the complexity of post-wash care, and the release of formerly oiled birds.
Each day’s programme included a morning classroom session covering theoretical aspects of oiled wildlife response. In the afternoons attendees took part in practical skills labs at the coast or in a warehouse where SEA-PT equipment is stored. At the end of each day, participants took a test to ensure the lessons provided that day were well understood. After passing the course and tests, the successful participants in the ADVANCED Responder course received a certificate that allows them to progress further through the EUROWA training process.
This is the first time the EUROWA ADVANCED Responder course has been provided “on demand” for the purpose of upgrading a cohesive group of national responders. Trainers and participants noted it was an important step in expanding the network of individuals able to provide a higher professional level of care for oiled wildlife in their own country (Ireland) and in Europe. The Oiled Wildlife Response Network is in discussions with government agencies and industry on integration of these capabilities into the national emergency response preparedness system and the potential for structural support for this important aspect of oil spill response.