Have you been doing a lot of online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here at EUROWA, we have! Throughout the course of 2020, we have sourced and purchased a number of items to supplement and strengthen the EUROWA stockpile of oiled wildlife response equipment.
The EUROWA Network holds its own stockpile of wildlife response equipment in Ostend, Belgium, which is available for mobilisation by European governments in case of an oiled wildlife incident. In June 2019 The EUROWA Network gathered in Ostend and inspected the equipment and made plans for repairs, replacements and upgrades.
Those plans materialised during 2020 and new equipment items have been sourced and purchased by experts from the Wildlife Centre Ostend and Pro-Bird, as well as Sea Alarm. The purchase was made possible thanks to the project “EUROWA Preparedness Support,” supported by Aramco.
The following items have now been bought and prepared:
• A set of training equipment for EUROWA Advanced Oiled Wildlife Responder training courses where field, pre-wash, wash & dry and pools skill labs take place. Items bought include items such as pools, catch nets, PPE for trainees, hoses, thermometers, net bottom cages, a pet dryer, and a freezer for keeping corpses for training events.
• Items showing the EUROWA brand including t-shirts, high-visibility vests, stickers and lanyards to identify EUROWA responders when carrying out training and exercises or attending a spill event.
• A set of pre-printed signs to be displayed in a wildlife response facility (department or section signs, health & safety signs including PPE usage, do’s and don’ts etc).
• A set of printed EUROWA response Forms, ready to be used in an incident.
• Replacement of a number of consumable items which have expired, or which were used in the 2018 Bow Jubail oil spill in the Netherlands, restoring the stockpile to operational readiness for the next spill (e.g. haematocrit tubes, veterinary sponges and compresses, stethoscopes, filters for pet dryers etc.).
• A standard equipment check package for carrying out equipment inspections with the right tools, storing and packing material. Network member Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend has also donated a storage locker to be able to store all this equipment in the warehouse.
We are now looking forward to our next EUROWA in-person meeting, COVID permitting, in the framework of the new EUROWA-2 project, where all new items will be assembled and registered in the EUROWA equipment database.