Yes! We really DO! We love having you as part of our Network, but we REALLY love it when we have enough people within our amazing Network trained and ready to respond to an oil spill! That, after all, is what we are all about, as our mission clearly states: “provide best achievable capture and care to oil-affected wildlife”. Being able to fulfill this mission means that we need to make sure we have enough people within our Network that can respond to a spill, at any given moment.
Even though we have roughly 1,600 folks in our database, it doesn’t mean that we have 1,600 people that are ready to respond in all the various roles that we need to fill. If you have taken the OWCN Core Webinars (a set of 3), there are a few roles you could fill as a volunteer. If you want the ability to have a wider selection of volunteer roles, however, you will need to take the next level up training, called the Basic Responder Training (or BRT for short). The BRT training will help provide you with a greater understanding of our operations and potential roles during response. Taking this training also has the added benefit of allowing you to sign up for volunteer shifts during a response, as it gives you pre-approval to sign up for any available shift.
If you are interested in the potential of filling a staff role, either in a facility or in the field, in addition to the Core Webinars and the BRT, you will also need to take the Oiled Wildlife Specialist (OWS) training. Depending on what role you are interested in potentially being hired on during a spill, there may be a few additional trainings. For example, if you would like to go out in the field to help with the capture of animals, you will also need a current 24-hr HAZWOPER training. During the recent Pipeline P00547 Incident, there were fewer responders trained to the OWS level, which made things a bit challenging, and meant that we could not rotate people as often as we would have liked. Well, you could help change this!
Today I want to let you know about some upcoming trainings – there is a virtual BRT training coming up on Friday, June 24 (from 9am-4pm). We still have spots available and would love to have you join us! To sign up you will need to do so through your OWCN Responder Profile.
If you need yet another reason for taking the BRT, the BRT is a pre-requisite for taking the Oiled Wildlife Specialist training (OWS), which is a 2-day training. The first day of this training is virtual, and is happening on August 3. The second day is an in-person training (remember those??) – we are holding one in northern CA (Cordelia, Aug. 18) and one is southern CA (San Pedro, Aug. 30) – you get to pick which one is most convenient for you.
Lastly, I wanted to spread the word that we are offering a new specialty for the OWS training this year: Hazing & Deterrence. If you have interest in learning more about how to scare, exclude, or deter unoiled wildlife from oil, this specialty is for you!
So please join us at one or both of these upcoming trainings! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email (owcn@owcnblog). Can’t wait to meet you or see you at one of our trainings!