National Spill Control School Trains Responders in Best Practices

October 07, 2014

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas— Instructors and leaders with the National Oil Spill Control School at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi trained attendees from around the world at a four-day training session this summer on how to effectively treat oil spills.

The training was held at Ohmsett – The National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility in New Jersey.

“The attendees appreciated the opportunity to work hands-on with skimmers in the wave tank, and really enjoyed the competition to see who could obtain the best recovery rates,” said Tony Wood, director of the University’s National Spill Control School (NSCS).

The courses offered used a combination of instruction and hands-on tank exercises covering:

  • contingency planning,
  • effects of oil spills,
  • best equipment to deploy for successful response operations,
  • setting up an incident command system,
  • strategic planning during a spill.

During the classroom instruction, Tom Cothran of the NSCS provided extensive first-hand case studies of some of the country’s largest and most complex spill response efforts.  Frank Csulak, scientific support coordinator at NOAA, provided an overview of NOAA’s spill response program.

After the classroom instructions, attendees participated in hands-on training practicing skimming operations using full-scale equipment to recover oil intentionally spilled in Ohmsett's test basin.

Upon completion of the course, the students received a Certification of Completion from the National Spill Control School.

The National Spill Control School at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has been providing oil spill training programs since 1977. The school is developing an oil protection plan for the Texas coast, the Texas Tidal Inlet Protection Strategies program.