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Estonia trains ADVANCED oiled wildlife responders

EUROWA network member Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend (WRCO) delivered an ADVANCED oiled wildlife responder training in Estonia from 16 to 19th September.

The course was organised by Agni Kaldma (EUROWA technical expert, also affiliated with the Estonian Fund for Nature, ELF) and the Estonian Ministry of Environment through the INTERREG OIL SPILL project, as part of a drive to maintain and improve Estonia’s preparedness for oil spills that could threaten wildlife. The focus of the OIL SPILL project is to strengthen oil spill response capability in nearshore and coastal areas of the Baltic Sea by enhancing cooperation structures, procedures and skills between the relevant stakeholders.

Isabelle Allemeersch and Claude Velter, both staff at WRCO, delivered the course at Võsu, Estonia, which was attended by the Estonian Minister of Environment and resulted in 8 volunteers successfully completing the course and gaining their ADVANCED qualification. All trainees scored the course as 8 out of 10 or higher on their evaluation forms, indicating that it was very well received.

The course was run out of a large tent with an equipment container where the trainees could follow theory and practical sessions, using a stockpile of oiled wildlife response equipment that the Estonian Environmental Board and Rescue Board purchased many years ago but never used.

This was the first time that a EUROWA ADVANCED course has been run out of a temporary tent-based facility, which worked well and so opens up possibilities to run courses in countries without permanent rehabilitation facilities. To make the exercises more realistic, a variety of dead birds, dummies and remotely controlled ducks were used in the tent, on the beach or on the water.

With this course and the equipment stockpile, Estonia is making great strides forward in improving its preparedness for dealing with oiled wildlife.

Interested in running EUROWA oiled wildlife responder training courses in your country? Please contact us!

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