The company said the effort "marked the latest in Norfolk Southern's ongoing efforts to facilitate rail-focused training for emergency personnel across its operating system. Forty responders from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Alabama participated last week in a three-day course" at AAR's SERTC facility.
"Participants learned about the different kinds of crude oil being transported, types of tank cars used for crude transportation and crude oil response precautions. They also practiced specialized firefighting techniques during a mock 20-car derailment and fire," NS said.
NS said the training is part of the freight rail industry's commitment to provide specialized crude-by-rail training and tuition assistance to 1,500 first responders during 2014. Norfolk Southern will provide tuition, travel and expenses for a total of 126 responders to attend the training this year at no cost to communities or organizations. Additional NS classes will be held in October and November.
"NS is committed to enhancing safety, which includes not only sound train operations, but also preparing for emergency situations," said David Julian, NS vice president safety and environmental. "Pre-planning and training for first responders is essential to help them perform their duties when the need arises. With respect to the crude oil traffic segment, we look forward to working with emergency response agencies to assist them with hazardous materials planning, training, and resources to help them prepare for and to minimize impacts in the unlikely event of an ncident."
In 2013, Norfolk Southern safety and environmental teams trained more than 4,800 state and local emergency responders at 108 locations across the railroad's 22-state network, and since 2000, NS has provided classroom and hands-on training to 62,000 responders, the Class I railroad said.