Two dozen firefighters from Lynn and Nahant conduct an ‘oil spill drill’

Nuka Research & Planning Group Senior Analyst Pete DeCola, left, teaches Lynn Fire Department District Chief Tim Collier, center, and Deputy Chief Bill Murrary how to connect the booms which float in the water and help contain oil spills. (Spenser R. Hasak)

NAHANT  — Two dozen firefighters from Lynn and Nahant contained an “oil spill” in Lynn Harbor Thursday, but luckily it was just a drill.

“Train for the worst and hope for best,” said Alyssa Hall, a project associate at Nuka Research & Planning Group LLC., a Plymouth environmental consulting firm which conducts oil spill recovery training.

Hall was on hand for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) sponsored full-scale oil spill response training exercise at the Department of Conservation and Recreation Boat Ramp.

The three-hour workshop included an onsite classroom session where firefighters learned how to deploy the yellow containment booms and the anchors to hold them, as well as use of absorbent materials to collect the oil.

“The goal is to be prepared,” said Lt. Paul Ricchi, director of Lynn Office of Emergency Management. “Fortunately, we haven’t had a major spill in Lynn, just small spills in the marinas.”

Lynn Fire Chief Stephen Archer said their goal is to train every firefighter on how to respond to an oil spill.

Peter DeCola, senior analyst at Nuka, showed firefighters how to connect and deploy the booms in the water.

“It looks simple, but it can be tricky,” he told trainees.

Mayor Thomas M. McGee said the fine work of the fire department doesn’t happen by accident.

“It’s great to see the ongoing training and the knowledge spread to all the firefighters,” he said. “It’s good to know when there’s an oil spill in the water, they are on it immediately, and they know what they’re doing.”


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