Release Date: 05/05/2010


BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) began a series of training classes on Tuesday, May 4, for employees involved with the onshore cleanup operations resulting from the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010. Employees attended a four-hour "Post Emergency Spilled Oil Cleanup Gulf Coast Training" course at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge.

The training courses teach techniques and safety precautions when involved in petroleum cleanup of weathered or "low hazard" oil. Weathered oil is petroleum exposed to the elements that no longer presents a breathing hazard. Cleanup crews are required to wear appropriate safety clothing but not required to wear breathing apparatus. The training is strictly for onshore clean up and covers all areas of recovery from oiled wildlife species to habitat and beach debris removal.

"This training will prepare our employees for the vital work that will need to be done to restore wildlife habitat in oil-impacted areas," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "Rescuing wildlife species affected by oil is a delicate process, but we will be ready."

LDWF will offer at least three courses this week for employees involved with wildlife and habitat clean up and possibly more courses in the future. Employees taking the course must pass a certification test to participate in the oil spill response and are only certified for the specific response efforts resulting from this oil spill. Approximately 90 LDWF employees are scheduled for training this week.

The course is taught by Jeff Brady of Safety Ahead, Gonzales, LA and contracted through British Petroleum. Safety Ahead has offered safety training for 17 years.

The state of Louisiana's Joint Information Center for media inquiries can also be reached at (225) 358-5361 and <JIC@la.gov>. For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.