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VIDEO: How Would Salem Handle an Oil Spill?

Area fire departments, harbormasters and state agencies spent Wednesday at a drill designed to train emergency responders how to contain potential petroleum based spills that could threaten our shorelines.

It might be something you never think about, but with so much shoreline on the North Shore, the risk of an oil spill is a very real threat — one our local communities don't take lightly.

Salem Patch joined and emergency responders from neighboring cities, towns and the state Wednesday find out how local communities would react if oil, diesel or other petroleum based products were released into our local waters.

Salem, Beverly and Danvers fire departments and harbormasters joined at for instruction from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the consulting firm it contracts for oil spill prevention and response —  Nuka Research and Planning Group. The Coast Guard also attended the drill.

Prior to the drill, crews reviewed oil spill prevention and response materials and tools that are housed in trailers in every Massachusetts community with a shoreline.

On the water, crews deployed boom — a device used to contain oil — in a simulation of an oil spill threatening the Bass River.

Peat moss, which floats, was used to mimic a petroleum based product.

Following the drill, agencies met to discuss the simulation.

Be sure to watch our video to learn more about the drill and what would happen in an actual spill/release situation from Salem Fire Capt. Alan Dionne.

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