Friday, December 08, 2017

NS trains more than 3k first responders during safety tour

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NS trains more than 3k first responders during safety tour Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern (NS) provided training to 3,241 first responders on the company's safety train in 2017.



NS describes the safety tour as "a rolling learning lab" that educates people about how to safely respond to possible rail incidents.

The safety train toured 23 communities throughout 14 states in 2017, offering free training to firefighters, law enforcement, emergency management personnel and other first responders, according to NS.

"Safety is ingrained in all things at Norfolk Southern, but emergency response preparedness is something that stands apart," said John Irwin, assistant vice president safety and environmental. "I want to thank all of the emergency responders across our system who took advantage of this opportunity over the past year to experience the hands-on training on our hazmat safety train."

During the safety train's final stop of the year, which took place from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1, in Greensboro, N.C., NS said firefighters took part in advanced tank car training addressing potential incidents related to the carrying of hazardous materials.

NS began the tour in March 2017 in Maryland and provided training to first responders in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and several other states.

NS launched the safety train in 2016 as part of the railroad's commitment to safety, the company said.

The safety train consists of a dedicated locomotive, two box cars converted into classrooms, three tank cars used to transport various chemicals, and two flat cars designed with intermodal containers and multiple tank car valve arrangements that can simulate leaks.

"Our safety train is helping Norfolk Southern build and strengthen relationships with first responders across our network," said David Schoendorfer, system manager hazardous materials. "We want them to be equipped with the tools and resources they need to safely do their jobs when responding to potential rail incidents. It's all about helping our communities be prepared and safe."

Part of the training focuses on AskRail™, a mobile app for first responders that provides real-time data about what rail cars are transporting, which NS said is intended to help first responders make informed decisions when responding to rail emergencies.

The train is part of the railroad's "Operation Awareness and Response" program to connect first responders with training resources.