The aim of the responder is to quickly turn an emergency into a project that is under control, this is critical to the evolution of a response; given this is the method of training used for oil spill responders due for review? In this paper the author will look at training methods for responders and if there should be a step change in the way the industry train people for varying roles in spill response.

The initial phase of a response can define its success. Handled correctly the need for a fast, visible, and coordinated response will be met. The initial response can also be a time for panic when a sense of calm is needed. In similar emergency response industries where coolness and composure are required, different training methods are currently employed. This paper will analyse various methods of training in the medical sector, namely the algorithmic training of paramedics, in order to evaluate these emergency strategies for the purposes of comparison and learning.

The later stages of a spill require the same management skills as any project; where actions can be planned and implemented with a calm and composed mindset using a detailed project plan. However a key difference in thinking is required to tackle both the initial emergency response and project areas of a spill. In the project phase of a spill critical thinking is a necessity. This critical thinking is the process of applying and analyzing information gathered from observation or communication, as a guide to actions. Good critical thinking should show clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance and fairness. The mindset involved in this phase is difficult to teach and evaluate. The author will look into how this can be achieved by referring again to the medical sector, namely the diagnostics and accident and emergency divisions.

With the two distinct stages of spills and the need to transfer rapidly from emergency to project phases the author will look into the advantages and disadvantages of adopting new distinct training techniques for responders for both periods of a spill. The function of this paper will be to provoke thought into changing the way the industry look at training people for purpose. It aims to discuss the possibilities of increasing logical step-by-step thinking for first responders creating set parameters that will then define deliverable information to those trained in critical thinking and spill management.

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