Hawaii first responders take part in triennial oil and hazardous substance response exercise

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU — Federal, state and local first responders conducted the first part of a full scale response exercise at the Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor Wednesday.

The scenario for the exercise simulated a fire breaking out during an early morning oil transfer at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor followed by an oil spill that occurs as a result of the fire incident. The exercise tested and evaluated core components of the Hawaii Area Contingency Plan, Chevron Facility Response Plan and various emergency response plans during a simulated fire and oil spill.

Firefighters with Chevron Fire Department prepare to respond to a simulated fire aboard a container ship as part of an oil and hazardous substance response exercise at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor Sept. 10, 2014. The exercise was designed to test and evaluate core components of the Hawaii Area Contingency Plan, Chevron Facility Response Plan and various emergency response plans during a simulated fire and oil spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Melissa E. McKenzie)

Firefighters with Chevron Fire Department prepare to respond to a simulated fire aboard a container ship as part of an oil and hazardous substance response exercise at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor Sept. 10, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Melissa E. McKenzie)

Exercise participants established a Unified Command/Incident Command Post with representatives from the Coast Guard, Chevron, Department of Health Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response, Department of Transportation Harbors, Clean Islands Council and the City and County of Honolulu. The goal of the exercise is to improve response ability to marine fire, oil pollution, wildlife triage response, source control, containment, mitigation and recovery operations in the State of Hawaii. The second portion of the exercise will take place at the end of September.

“The critical piece of this exercise is that we are practicing for an event before it happens,” said Capt. Shannon Gilreath, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu commanding officer. “If you practice ahead of time you establish relationships and you establish trust. This is important because when an actual incident happens you understand your partner’s capabilities and what they bring to the table. That allows us to respond faster with increased efficiency and safely.”

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