It’s Only Make Believe

Yesterday the OWCN conducted a full deployment drill at the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center (MWVCRC) in Santa Cruz. We conduct these exercises for different primary care facilities one to two times per year. They provide an opportunity to simulate how each facility will be used during an oiled wildlife response and remind staff and volunteers how everything works.

A temporary structure was erected to add flexibility and space for holding animals

A temporary structure was erected to add flexibility and space for holding animals

During the exercise bird decoys were used to practice intake exams, folks actually put on personal protective equipment (even though there was no oil), and we tested various systems throughout the building.

Veterinarians Amy Wells and Melissa Miller examine an "oiled" bird decoy

Veterinarians Amy Wells and Melissa Miller examine an "oiled" bird decoy

 

 

Don Ballard checks air flow in the intake room

Don Ballard checks air flow in the intake room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to testing people, equipment and facilities, we also worked through different scenarios that might develop during an oil spill. OWCN’s response facilities don’t sit idle when there’s not a spill. Member organizations and other cooperating groups conduct rehabilitation, education and research programs every day in these facilities. So when an emergency happens and things shift into oiled wildlife response mode, the normal daily routine for these groups is disrupted. Response exercises provide an opportunity to work through this transition when there is no emergency, so when a spill happens – and things have to move quickly – the process will be smooth and efficient.

Mike Ziccardi, Dave Jessup and Julie Yamamoto discuss how to manage seabirds and sea otters in the same response facilityG

Mike Ziccardi, Dave Jessup and Julie Yamamoto discuss how to manage seabirds and sea otters in the same response facility

-Greg

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s