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Ask a Responder: Q&A with an Oil Recovery Technician

Oil recovery technician Frank Minter.

Oil recovery technician Frank Minter.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill.

Frank Minter is serving as an oil recovery technician at the Pass Christian oil cleanup site in Pass Christian, Miss., for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response.

Q: What is your role in the oil cleanup?

A: My role is to pick up as much oil as possible off the beach. We use screens and sifter shovels to separate the sand from the oil to ensure that we do not remove excess sand from the beaches.

Q: What is your work schedule like?

A: We work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Q: How do you feel about being a part of the largest oil spill in the U.S.?

A: I feel honored to be one of the first people to help clean up the oil. It’s really important to me. I live in Gulfport, Miss., my kids will be coming to this beach. I feel like it’s part of my responsibility to help clean the oil off the beaches. 

Q: What have you seen along the Mississippi?

A: I’ve seen a lot of oil. I’ve seen a lot of hard work out here in the efforts put toward keeping the beaches clean.

Q: Is there anything about your experience that you’d like to add?

A: It is a great experience. I’ve received a lot of education through helping with the oil cleanup efforts. I’ve learned about hazardous materials and the safety concerns involved in dealing with the oil. I’ll be able to take a lot of the experience and knowledge from working here to another job possibly working at a chemical plant or around any hazardous materials.

Interviewed by: Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill, Joint Information Center, Deepwater Horizon Incident Command Post Mobile, Ala.