ADVANCED Responder Field training given to RSPCA Wildlife Officer Team
At the 2018 conference of the RSPCA Wildlife Officer Team, held in March at Mallydams in East Sussex, England, the eighteen officers in attendance were trained in EUROWA ADVANCED Responder Search and Collection procedures.
Geoff Edmond, the RSPCA National Wildlife Officer Coordinator, and Richard Thompson, another member of the Wildlife Officer Team and one of the key authors of the EUROWA ADVANCED course, led this training. After attending theory-based classroom sessions, the team members practiced establishing a Beach Collection Point, then searched the beach in groups to find simulated models of various species of birds.
The ‘rescued birds’ were then taken to the Collection Point where team members practiced triage and initial care skills. Roboduck once again made an appearance, this time under the challenging conditions of cold winds, snow and ice, which made for a very realistic learning experience.
The RSPCA Wildlife Officer Team was developed to respond to wildlife and environmental incidents, including oil pollution events, concentrating on search and rescue, collection, and triage/stabilisation of affected animals. Based on their specific remit, the team was able to take advantage of the modular format of EUROWA’s training courses, taking only the Field (Search and Collection) segment of the Advanced training. This allowed them to concentrate on the aspects of an oiled wildlife event where they would be primarily involved.