Servicemembers, civilians learn to clean oil, gas spills
November 9, 2011
By Spc. Bradley J. Wancour
Third Army/ARCENT Public Affairs
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Third Army hosted a Fuel Spill and Response Course here Nov. 6.
"The purpose of this class is to educate Servicemembers and civilians about the proper procedures to clean fuel and oil spills," said Kevin Meltzer, International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) Exelis contractor/spill response leader. "We want to avoid spills which could contaminate the environment."
The Los Angeles resident explained that courses like this one ensure that people know how to report and clean spills.
"We saw that there was a need, so we started this class back in September," Meltzer said. "We started out with about 20 students per class, but we found that was simply too many to give everyone hands-on experience."
Because the hands-on portion is such an integral part of the training, the number of students per class was reduced to 12, allowing for four, three-person teams.
Since then, the course has been held on a monthly basis with improvements being made for each new group of Servicemembers and civilians going through the training.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback from students," said Meltzer, "Which is great for us, because the more feedback we get the better program we can create."
Most students are Servicemembers, many of whom work in one of the motorpools and work with chemicals like fuel and oil on a daily basis, Meltzer stated, but there are also a good number of civilians who participate.
"Many times the safety officers of each unit takes these classes," said Capt. Hubert James Little III, a Lawrenceville, Ga. native and combined operations and information center officer in charge, 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support) Operational Command Post (Forward). "Everyone can benefit from it. You never know when you may have to respond to a spill."
Little explained that training such as the Fuel Spill and Response Course can go for $200 to $300 outside of the military.
"The fact that these classes are offered for free really shows Third Army takes care of Servicemembers," Little said.
Little was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the course and said it was very enlightening.
Third Army is dedicated to protecting the environment in Kuwait by informing Servicemembers and civilians about procedures for cleaning up hazardous material spills.