POSTED February, 2012
Author: LT Joel Ferguson
Henderson, Nev. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted its 15th annual On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) Readiness Training Program on the outskirts of Las Vegas, and a few members of the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Strike Force (NSF) were fortunate enough to attend.
LT Joel Ferguson and MK1 Matthew Foster from the Atlantic Strike Team at Ft Dix, NJ, benefitted from training in the following topics: inland oil spill, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Cost Benefit Analysis in Removal Actions, Radiation Response, Trustee Communications, and Contingency Planning.
If there are readers out there that are wondering why U.S. Coast Guard personnel are participating in an EPA training event, the answer can be found in the National Contingency Plan. Specifically, 40 CFR 300.145(a) states:
The NSF is a special team established by the USCG, including the three USCG Strike Teams, the Public Information Assist Team (PIAT), and the NSFCC. The NSF is available to assist OSCs/RPMs in their preparedness and response duties.
Often, NSF members deploy in support of EPA On-Scene Coordinators. As LT Ferguson said, “It’s important to be familiar with the doctrine, training, and people of an agency that the Atlantic Strike Team, and the NSF, regularly supports.”
The availability of subject matter experts at forums such as these, present excellent opportunities for NSF members to delve into the more technical aspects of the response discipline. LT Ferguson stated, “I was really pleased to be able to discuss radiation decontamination best practices with one of EPA’s senior health physicists from Region 2.”
MK1 Foster said, “The training we attended only broadened our knowledge of response and removal actions from the initial response to demobilization. The courses were very good.”
The Atlantic Strike Team participants not only fostered existing EPA relationships during this conference, they also met some new civilian USCG members including Jim Pitkin, the new Pacific Strike Team Training Supervisor, and Cornell J. Rosiu, the new 1st District D.R.A.T. supervisor.
In summation of the spirit of cooperation at the conference, LT Ferguson said, “Response effectiveness is built on solid relationships and support networks. I was very happy that Mr. Rosiu asked to visit the Atlantic Strike Team and speak to our members. The more we know about each other, the better we can achieve our mutual response goals.”
“The World’s Best Responders: Any Time, Any Place, Any Hazard.”