A note to the volunteers

Dear volunteer:

I am writing to thank you for taking the time to sign up on the city web site as a volunteer to help with the oil spill and continuing leak. We felt that gathering information for a potential pool of volunteers was a prudent thing to do, and I applaud you for signing up.

BP, which the federal government refers to as the responsible party, has announced a schedule of basic training sessions for volunteers. We have notified BP that you are interested in being a volunteer, and we also will keep your name and contact info should a city need be identified.

These BP sessions are basic training; there are still a number of issues that BP is trying to work out regarding any training for certification for dealing with oiled birds or dealing with oil itself. It’s my understanding that BP itself will be responsible for hiring certified contractors to clean any oil that reaches our shoreline. Volunteers are asked to avoid coming in contact with oil or oiled wildlife.

However, I encourage you to attend one of the basic training sessions.

They will be offered at the Jefferson Davis and Jackson County campuses of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, at least through Saturday, at 2, 4 or 6 p.m.

You can read the latest information on the spill itself, based on a briefing this morning, clicking here.

Please understand that your local government continues to play a support role in this catastrophe. We’re certainly not advocating our responsibility, but at this point, we’re relying on our federal and state agencies to work with BP to be the first line of defense.

We’ve added your name to the Bmail list, and we will provide you credible information as it becomes available to us.

God bless you and God bless Biloxi

A.J. Holloway