The US Coast Guard established the Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) classification in response to regulatory requirements of OPA 90. OSRO is a voluntary program and was developed to assist oil handling facilities and vessels in preparing spill response plans.
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) is a general term for a group of specialized rescue skills used to form a team with capabilities that include, search, medical and structural assessment capacity. Heavy USAR (HUSAR) teams locate trapped people in collapsed structures using specially trained dogs and electronic search equipment.
More crude oil was spilled in U.S. rail incidents last year than was spilled in the nearly four decades since the Federal Government began collecting data on such spills. The U.S federal data does not include incidents in Canada where oil spilled from trains. Canadian authorities estimate that more than 1.5 million gallons of crude oil spilled last year.
Easy access to up-to-date, structured and reliable information can heighten situational awareness and improve the processes associated with an entire emergency response.
Many fire departments have numerous specialist teams. It would be a very basic description of a fire department to say they only extinguish fires. Firefighters work to prevent the loss of life and to protect the environment in many ways. Whether it be in municipal, airport or industrial settings fire departments provide many valuable services.
During a spill response, sensitive locations threatened by an advancing oil slick can be protected with various kinds of equipment and tactics. Booms are often the first containment method to be used and the last equipment to be removed from the site of an oil spill, they can be the most commonly used and most environmentally acceptable response technique to clean up spills.
The issue of managing crew and ensuring availability of skilled manpower remains a challenge for the maritime sector to overcome. Companies involved in maritime emergency response operations such as salvage companies and oil spill response organizations (OSRO) need to know the availability of personnel for months at a time.
For the operators and owners of oil spill pollution equipment there are a number of factors to consider if a reliable response is to be achieved. Pollution control equipment is often stored for long periods of time without being required. Then suddenly it is required to operate continuously in all conditions for extensive periods, this is a very tall order for any item of machinery or equipment.
Oil operations may be disrupted by severe weather events, natural disasters, human error, and similar events. An ability to mitigate the adverse impacts of these events depends in part upon the effectiveness of rigorous emergency preparedness and response planning.
Industries employ many different processes involving a wide range of different raw materials, waste products and final products. The hazards encountered are numerous and diverse. Site staff must be prepared to respond to fires of flammable liquid and compressed gases, hazardous material releases, rescues, security breaches and medical emergencies.