Thanks for a great drill!

OWCN and Member Organization personnel receiving the morning briefing for the oiled wildlife response drill in Morro Bay last week.

OWCN and Member Organization personnel receiving a morning briefing for the oiled wildlife response drill in Morro Bay last week. Photo by Kyra Mills-Parker.

Last week’s drill was a huge success thanks to the efforts of OWCN’s partners at Pacific Wildlife Care, The Marine Mammal Center (San Luis Obispo satellite) and personnel from many other Member Organizations.

The main purpose of this drill was to test the readiness of the Morro Bay region to provide wildlife response in the event of an oil spill. The drill had a main focus on seabirds, but also included a small marine mammal and sea otter response component.

Sprinter and MASH at Morro Rock Feb 2016

The Wildlife Recovery Sprinter van mobile command center and Mobile Avian Stabilization Hospital trailer (MASH) stationed at Morro Rock during last week’s drill

 

 

Another goal for this drill was to explore the boundaries of technology to aid in oiled wildlife response. At this drill, OWCN and our partners tested the use of an electronic medical records database in Primary Care (WRMD: Wildlife Rehabilitation Medical Database), a smart phone based data collection system during Wildlife Recovery, and the new OWCN Database for tracking work schedules for personnel.

Although there were a few glitches, overall the new systems provided improved and more accurate data collection and tracking. We are looking forward to continued improvements and use in future drills and responses.

Field Stabilization responders getting ready to transport a decoy brown pelican to the Primary Care Center during a oiled wildlife response drill last week.

Field Stabilization responders getting ready to transport a decoy brown pelican to the Primary Care Center during a oiled wildlife response drill last week.

Of course, even with all this “new-fangled” technology, the most important element of a successful wildlife response is the people. Nineteen Member Organizations and over 65 people made time in their busy schedules to participate in the drill. The drill was a wonderful chance to see long time colleagues, meet new colleagues and learn more techniques that will help us respond the next time there is an oil spill. In addition and importantly, “Much fun was had by all”!

Looking forward to working with more of you at our next drill!

–Nancy

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