As I pack up our reliable 1997 F-250 diesel truck and begin the journey home along Interstate 5 north, I am filled with gratitude for being part of another great OWCN training.
Nancy, Curt, and I taught our Basic Responder Training course yesterday, hosted graciously at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Participants were engaged, enthusiastic, and, best of all, represented a diverse collection of our Southern California member organizations. We had 30 folks from 8 different organizations, including:
- Channel Islands Cetacean Research Unit
- International Bird Rescue
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Marine Mammal Care Center – Los Angeles
- Pacific Marine Mammal Center
- SeaWorld San Diego
- UC Davis Wildlife Health Center
- Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center
This diversity also provided us with a few veteran responders with lots of spill experience to share, sitting alongside many newcomers who have yet to respond to a spill but are eager to help (should they be needed). One participant shared with me after the class that she found spill response a bit intimidating, but that fear was alleviated via this course and that she was now ready to lend a hand.
While everyone in that room hopes this new knowledge will never need to be used, it does provide me great comfort to know that we have so many skilled, passionate, and reliable responders throughout our state ready to jump into action.
Thank you Pacific Marine Mammal Center for hosting, and thank you to all the participants for your support.