ACME Environmental completed a mock oil spill on Kaw Lake in order to help prepare their customer’s first responders throughout the Midwest. Kaw Lake, a Corps of Engineers lake, is a 38 mile long lake with more than 170 miles of shoreline located in north-central Oklahoma. The location of the lake allowed for personnel from all over the Midwest to attend the drill. Oil spill containment boom is the first mechanical response equipment taken to an oil spill on water and therefore it is imperative that all first responders have a basic knowledge of boom components and deployment. Personnel with proper training will be able to deploy oil spill containment boom efficiently and in return mitigate the impact of an oil spill on water. During the 4 hour drill, ACME personnel discussed oil spill containment boom components, completed oil spill containment boom inspections and deployed oil spill containment boom. The 4 hour seminar began with ACME personnel discussing the following topics:
- Oil Spill Safety Guidelines – ACME’s Commitment To Safety (ACTS)
- Oil Spill Containment Boom Components
- Oil Spill Containment Boom Handling
- Oil Spill Containment Boom Storage
- Oil Spill Containment Boom Deployment
- Oil Spill Containment Boom Maintenance
- Oil Spill Skimmers
ACME personnel then assisted the first responders with their annual boom inspections which included:
- Inspection of all oil spill containment boom components
- Inspection of all oil spill containment boom accessories
- Verifying inventory levels of all oil spill containment boom
- Verifying sizes of oil spill containment boom
- Verifying applicability of oil spill containment for Calm Water, Protected Water and Open Water
- Labeling of containment boom with customer logo
Lastly, ACME supervised first responders deploying oil spill containment boom. Prior to deployment, ACME inspected the area and discussed the importance of selecting collection points for oil spill skimmers prior to boom deployment. Collection points need to be easily accessible for personnel and equipment such as vacuum trucks. Once the deployment site was surveyed, first responders completed two different oil spill containment deployments. These deployments challenged the personnel to deploy the oil spill containment boom while on land and on a boat. During deployment, first responders were challenged with oil spill containment boom handling and towing. Personnel learned firsthand how to connect couplers, use tow bridles and use proper anchoring techniques at the end sections. ACME also advised first responders on the effects of wind and current on the oil spill containment boom and the proper angling techniques used to prevent oil spill containment boom failure. Once the oil spill containment boom was deployed, ACME personnel made first responders place an oil spill drum skimmer in the area selected during the initial deployment inspection. ACME also had all personnel operate the oil spill skimmer when it was in proper position for oil removal.
Upon completion of the drill, all first responders gained a basic knowledge on how to handle and deploy oil spill containment in the event of an oil spill. All personnel on site gained valuable knowledge about using oil spill containment boom to contain or deflect oil for removal. All first responders left the spill drill with an accurate inventory of their containment boom and knowledge of the application of each oil spill containment boom size; which will allow for a more efficient response to an oil spill. ACME’s customer completes annual spill drills in order to optimize oil spill containment boom inspections while also empowering their first responders with knowledge on how to mitigate the effects of an oil spill by the proper use and techniques of using oil spill containment boom and other oil spill products.
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