A proactive approach to oil spill response

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IF5pVNOqo8″ width=”100%” height=”315″]

─ VERT participants engaged in a three-day capacity building workshop

By Anara Khan

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) continues to take a proactive approach to oil spill response, even as Guyana prepares for first oil in early 2020.

On Tuesday, the CDC, in collaboration with the US oil giant, ExxonMobil rolled out the training component for oil spill response of the Volunteer Emergency Response Team (VERT) programme. The three-day workshop will engage VERT participants in sessions geared towards capacity building in oil spill response.

The course comprises two sections, which are the Incident Command System 100/ 200 (ICS) and the deployment of oil spill response equipment. The participants are required to complete the ICS 100 and ICS 200 examinations online before being certified.

Director-General (DG) of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig called on the participants to take the training seriously. He reminded, “you must be able to use the equipment and be able to support the team members in the utilisation and deployment of oil spill equipment because, in the event of an oil spill, you will be called upon to support the lead agencies in oil spill response.”

LT. Col.Craig said that the probability of an onshore oil spill is far greater than the probability of an offshore spill. He explained that with fuel vessels traversing Guyana’s roads and rivers, there is a likelihood that a spill might occur. “We want to ensure that we have volunteers who are trained and equipped and ready to respond to any oil spill if it occurred in any part of Guyana.”

Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs of ExxonMobil, Deedra Moe expressed similar sentiments as Lieutenant Colonel Craig.

“Volunteers with the relevant skills and knowledge play such an important role when accidents occur and provide assistance to relief agencies… What you’re doing here is so very important because there are significant benefits that can be derived from your involvement at the local and national level,” she told the participants.

The oil spill response course concludes on Thursday with a practical session of equipment deployment.

Images: Ameer Sattaur.