Thirty-five persons have received training from Ambipar Response in best practices for managing oil spill events.
The sessions were held on February 8 to 10 and February 13 to 16 and covered essentials of managing oil spill response including contingency planning, responder safety, spilt oil behaviour, oil containment and removal, and shoreline management.
Director of Disaster Management Jasen Penn said that a sound knowledge of these essentials help the Virgin Islands meet its obligations under the International Maritime Organisation’s International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC).
“In keeping with the Territorial Oil Spill Response Plan, participants included representatives of all the agencies that may need to respond to an oil spill,” Mr. Penn said. This includes the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, BVI Fire & Rescue Service, Department of Disaster Management, BVI Ports Authority, Royal Virgin Islands Police, and Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, as well as staff from the major fuel providers such as Sol.
Harrison Jolly, Senior Response Consultant and Trainer with Ambipar Response, congratulated participants on their successful completion of the operational and tactical sessions.
“It was clear to our trainers during the preparation for and delivery of the courses that BVI is demonstrating a commitment to enhancing their understanding of marine oil spill response, developing new skills and ensuring resilience amongst key stakeholders and agencies at all levels,” Mr. Jolly said.
Participants included Virgin Islands public officers plus officers from Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos, as well as partners from the private sector.
The February sessions followed Level 3 oil spill response training for executive officers in January. The series was organised by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) as part of its annual training programme with financial support from United Kingdom Maritime and Coastguard Agency through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.
Residents who suspect an oil spill has occurred or is occurring should report it to the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service by calling 911 or 999.