Full Deployment Drill at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care & Education Center

Yesterday the OWCN hosted a full deployment drill at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Cordelia. This all day event was designed to test the readiness of the OWCN team, our member organizations, and pre-trained volunteers, as well as some of our friends from OSPR.

With almost 70 people in attendance, this was a great opportunity to mock up a spill and see just how things would work with so many people in one facility. Besides the OWCN, we were joined by 14 organizations, including the California Department of Fish & Game, DFG-OSPR, USFWS, UC Davis, WildCare, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, International Bird Rescue, The Marine Mammal Center, the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care & Research Center, PRBO Conservation Science, Pacific Wildlife Care, The Monterey Bay Aquarium, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

OWCN’s Tim Williamson working with the facilities crew and the conditioning crew to put up a tent that could hold birds after they have been through cleaning.

Our drill scenario included a rather large spill in the bay area and focused on avian species. Goals for this scenario included deploying and setting up our field vehicles (the Mobile Avian Stabilization Hospital and the Sprinter), working through large numbers of birds coming into the facility, and working together as a network.

Everyone managed to jump in and get right to work, and we covered a lot of ground during the day – everything from setting up tubs in the washroom, to coordinating the set-up of tents outside, to deploying field teams for a mock search and collection. This drill not only helped us to see how great everyone did with the scenario, but also more importantly helped us to identify areas that we can improve on.  I know my list of supplies for my volunteer coordination kit just grew by a lot!

Recovery & Transportation workers setting up boxes that would hold birds on their way from the field to the facility.

This really was a great way to show our readiness and help prepare for a real spill. Here at OWCN we would like to thank all the staff, volunteers, and agency folks who came out yesterday, to help make the drill such a success. Your hard work was greatly appreciated, and we look forward to seeing all of you again!

For more pictures, click here.

-Becky

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