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New Specialist Pre-wash oiled wildlife responder course held in Germany

SPECIALIST oiled wildlife responders are critical in an oiled wildlife response as the lives of animals and the success of the response, heavily depends on them. EUROWA approaches the SPECIALIST oiled wildlife responder qualification using the “lifelong learning” concept. You do not become a SPECIALIST only by attending a course of a few days. Instead, the EUROWA Specialist courses offer a range of training modules where a person can deepen their Knowledge, Skills and Abilities over the years.

EUROWA expects that a SPECIALIST is motivated to maintain their qualifications, and to help others to also obtain theirs. Our training framework facilitates this by making the training modules accessible and creating a friendly environment where SPECIALISTS can regularly meet each other, form a community and share their knowledge by teaching each other.

In October this year, the first ever Specialist pre-wash oiled wildlife responder training was completed in two parts. The first was an online event to fulfil the pre-wash ‘Knowledge’ module, where participants were tasked with reviewing literature relating to care of animals in a rehabilitation centre before they begin the washing process. Each candidate had to present their topics in a group discussion session to demonstrate their understanding of the key concepts and theory contained in the literature.

The second part took place in person at the Wildlife Rescue Centre facilities (Wildtier- und Artenschutzzentrum) in Elmshorn, Germany, operated by EUROWA network member ProBird. The ‘skills’ part of the course included theory on methods and requirements for the pre-wash phase (such as health and safety, bird housing and nutrition). The participants also were led through a number of tabletop exercises to practice setup of the stabilisation department and management of large-scale incidents from the pre-wash specialist point of view. The participants responded well to the tabletop exercise discussions as an effective way to demonstrate effective setup and management of the pre-wash zone.

A total of 12 responders, from 6 different countries gained their SPECIALIST Pre-wash skills and knowledge qualifications following the event. The course was delivered by EUROWA trainers Sascha Regmann (ProBird), Richard Thompson (RSPCA) and Hugo Nijkamp (Sea Alarm).

Together with the wash/dry package which was piloted earlier this year, the fact that these Specialist course packages are now available, thanks to the EUROWA-2 project, means the build up of teams of experts who are vital to each stage of the rehabilitation process in the event of an oiled wildlife incident in Europe.

For further information, contact the EUROWA secretariat.

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