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Oiled wildlife wash and dry specialist training held in Belgium

In March, eleven participants from five European countries successfully completed the Skills Module of the Specialist Oiled wildlife responder Wash and Dry training during a two day in-person course. This hands-on session was preceded by a half day online webinar earlier in the year during which participants earned their Knowledge Module qualification.

Both training modules, Skills and Knowledge, will lead to better prepared responders which, through a ‘life learning’ process (with real life experiences such as responding to incidents) will eventually qualify them as full ‘Specialists’ – having essential knowledge and key responsibilities in the delivery and management of any department in a wildlife rehabilitation centre during an emergency.

The Skills course, hosted by EUROWA member Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend, began with table-top exercises on management of an oiled wildlife incident, understanding relationships between different departments in a wildlife response, and the movement of animals through each stage of care while in the facility. The participants also learned how to prepare for the needs of different species, to set up washing and drying rooms, and to staff and manage those areas.

As part of the Knowledge module, each participant also completed an independent study and presented the results to the rest of the group, thereby learning as a group and giving presenters the opportunity to hone their speaking and training skills. This also set the stage for participants to understand that maintaining and updating their Specialist skills and knowledge is an important part of their responsibilities.

Delivered as part of the EUROWA-2 project, the Specialist Wash and Dry Skills was run for the first time as part of the EUROWA suite of modular courses. The course not only aimed to streamline the washing techniques of EUROWA responders, so that every responder uses the same methodology, and for more experienced washers to raise the skill level of less experienced participants, but also to develop the managerial and leadership skills of all participants and give them a deeper understanding of the complexity of an oiled wildlife response.

Finnish national news also covered this event, for those interested, that piece can be accessed here.

If you are interested in attending a EUROWA training course, or in organising one in your country, please contact the EUROWA Secretariat.

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