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Coastal firefighters to train for combating shipboard fires

The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council will host a Marine Firefighting Symposium for land-based firefighters in Valdez on October 4-6.

Sixty-five coastal firefighters, marine industry first responders, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel from the Prince William Sound region and across Alaska have registered to receive this hands-on training in how to respond to a fire on an oil tanker or other large ship.

Five instructors will provide coursework and seminars on fire operations and command procedures are used in marine-related fires. Topics to be addressed include shipboard firefighting, vessel familiarization, fire safety, coordination with ship’s crew and professional marine industry firefighters, and potential environmental effects of a ship fire.

New to this year’s symposium will be a panel discussion on the changes anticipated in marine firefighting activities with the implementation of the Coast Guard’s new Salvage and Marine Firefighting Regulations.

Representatives from Donjon-Smit, Marine Response Alliance, Crowley Maritime, T&T Bisso, the Coast Guard, Alaska Steamship Response, and Offshore Systems will be participating in this event, as will firefighters from Anchorage, Juneau, Seldovia, Homer, Kenai, Nikiski, Seward, Kodiak, Unalaska, Whittier, and Valdez.

The council is able to offer this training at no cost, thanks to help provided by Donjon-SMIT, Marine Response Alliance, ConocoPhillips, City of Valdez, Southwest Alaska Pilots Association and the U.S. Coast Guard. The generous support of these sponsors has helped obtain travel stipends, textbooks, meals, and use of facilities at the Port of Valdez and Valdez Civic Center.

More information on the symposium is available at www.pwsrcac.org/projects/MaritimeOps/marinefire.html or from Maritime Operations Project Manager Alan Sorum at 907.834.5020 or alan.sorum@pwsrcac.org.

The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council, with offices in Anchorage and Valdez, is an independent non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote environmentally safe operation of the Valdez Marine Terminal and the oil tankers that use it.  The council's work is guided by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and its contract with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.  The council's 19 member organizations are communities in the region affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, as well as aquaculture, commercial fishing, environmental, Native, recreation, and tourism groups. For more information about the council, visit www.pwsrcac.org on the Internet.

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