BP to hold volunteer safety classes Sunday - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

BP to hold volunteer safety classes Sunday

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - BP will offer basic safety classes for potential volunteers Sunday in Ocean Springs.

Four twenty minute classes will be held at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center at 9am, 10am, 4pm and 5pm. Each session is open to the public and will cover basic training required of everyone volunteering with the cleanup effort. These courses will not qualify participants to clean oil-contaminated beaches and wildlife. 

"We'll be passing out bags and gloves at that time. We already have dumpsters in several locations in Front Beach and East Beach," said Moran. "We ask that people just clean up the beach as much as they can and then toss the bags in the dumpsters."

The sessions were organized Saturday afternoon by BP representatives, Mayor Moran, the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and the founders of oil spill volunteers.com, a locally-based volunteer roster.

One of the website's founders, Melanie Allen said she's disappointed the courses will not be as extensive as she'd hoped and hopes the company will consider training volunteers for haz-mat cleanup.

"We know that people are going to go out on the beaches," said Allen. "They're going to want to protect the barrier islands. They're going to want to help wildlife, so we see this meeting as productive in that it was a first step. And we hope it will lead to more training for the community. Depending on the scope of this, we think training will be needed on a much more advanced level."

BP representatives say they have contracted a company called Tri-State to oversee oiled cleanup efforts. They said only people with haz-mat training will be allowed to clean oil-coated material.

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