Anyone looking to help with the cleanup efforts of the massive Santa Barbara oil spill, finally has the opportunity to lend a hand.
After being turned away for days, members of the public can now register online for volunteer training sessions to help with the cleanup as long as they in good health and at least 18 years old.
The training sessions began on Monday, and the first beach cleanup session will take place on Wednesday, according to the L.A. Times. Anyone troubled by the heartbreaking photos of impacted wildlife, just needs to fill out the online PDF form with the required contact information, relevant skills and any specific training they may have and email the information to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response.
Cleanup organizers are looking for volunteers with a wide variety of skills, including handling animals, data entry and logistics, construction and communications, and even food prep and laundry. They are also looking for anyone with previous oil spill cleanup experience and training, though it is not required.
While more than 650 trained workers have been assisting with the cleanup over the weekend, organizers are finally giving the general public who were previously turned away the chance to help out.
Not surprisingly, cleaning up an oil spill can be dangerous, especially for untrained volunteers. Fumes from the oil can cause headaches, confusion, vomiting, respiratory problems and more, so proper training is essential.
Yvonne Addassi, deputy administrator of the Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response told the L.A. Times: “We do understand that people feel very fervently and very strongly about trying to help out with the response. Oil is a hazardous substance. So you need to be careful. You need to be able to be properly trained. You need to understand what the hazards and risks are.”