The May 2015 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California required several organizations to conduct a coordinated response. Firms were tasked with cleanup operations, wildlife assessments, and other roles during the lengthy cleanup project. An organization tasked with protecting the medical health of workers during the project was BCFS Health and Human Services EMD. This organization is part of a global system of nonprofits and is a partner of federal, state, and local government and private industry. It specializes in emergency management, incident management, public health and medical disaster response, mass care, mass fatality management, medical sheltering, and planning.
For the Santa Barbara oil spill response, the organization stepped in with its expert medical team to provide essential aid. The spill, which occurred north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, was caused by a broken pipeline, and expelled approximately 142,800 gallons of oil into the surrounding area. BCFS Health and Human Services EMD was brought onto the scene by the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH) and Plains All American Oil to offer its Medical Staffing Team for the cleanup workers. These staff members worked closely under the guidance of the Unified Commander (UC).
The team included various licensed professionals including a Medical Task Force Leader, a physician, registered nurses, case managers, and paramedics, who offered first aid and force protection for the camp and beach operations during a tiring 73-day campaign.
Brendon Bailey, VP of Toxicology and Occupational Medicine, noted BCFS Health and Human Services EMD provided the crews with competent medical staff who integrated well within the entire operation and offered emergency response project experience.