MxV Rail’s SERTC Returns to In-Person Training

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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The Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) at MxV Rail, formerly the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), has returned to in-person training for first responders around the world, MxV Rail, a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced Jan. 16.

SERTC’s hands-on realistic training in surface transportation hazardous materials response is “unlike any other, and the new location, facilities and curriculum add to the student experience,” MxV Rail stated in a release.

Located in Pueblo, Colo., the SERTC, according to MxV Rail, will see upwards of 95 students from across the U.S. and as far away as Alberta, Canada, in the initial weeks of opening. “All will return home to their respective agencies with new skills, practical training experience and strategies for a safer tomorrow,” MxV Rail said.

“It’s great to have the training center open again,” said SERTC Executive Director Forrest Wieder. “We’ve been counting down to this day ever since we moved in. I’m proud of the SERTC staff and instructors, the updates we’ve made in course design, and the level of student engagement we’re seeing in these opening courses.”

In addition to new features on the training grounds and technology in the classroom, MxV Rail said SERTC’s “diverse and experienced instructional team has been a high point in the early student reviews.”

“The experienced background of the teachers allowed them to share their vast knowledge and real-world experience to answer questions. Having a mixed class of industrial firemen, municipal firemen, and HazMat contractor contributed to great questions and discussions,” said one trainee. “The hands-on and personal experience of instructors integrates all the information we’re taught,” said another.

SERTC’s 2023 courses include:

On-Site Learning – Residential:

  • Highway Emergency Response Specialist (HERS)
  • Tank Car Specialist (TCS)
  • Leadership and Management of Surface Transportation Incidents (LMSTI)
  • Hazardous Materials Weapons of Mass Destruction Technician for Surface Transportation (HWMDTST)
  • Highway Emergency Response Specialist – Advanced (HERS-A)
  • Tank Car Specialist – Advanced (TCS-A)

Web-based & Hands-on – Residential Hybrid Courses:

  • Highway Emergency Response Specialist (HERS)
  • Tank Car Specialist (TCS)

Remote Delivery Courses:

  • Surface Transportation Emergency Preparedness and Security – Freight (STEPS-FR)
  • Surface Transportation Emergency Preparedness and Security – Mass Transit & Passenger Rail (STEPS-PT)
  • Surface Transportation Emergency Preparedness and Security – Senior Officials (STEPS-SR)

“As an instructor, I am awfully excited about 2023,” said Jason Biggerstaff, Senior Instructor II with SERTC and MxV Rail. “We are the SERTC that the industry and our students love but shined up and polished with even more support for students. It’s world-class training and an experience that you won’t forget.”

SERTC 2023 courses are now open for registration. Go to for the latest, including hybrid and remote options, and opportunities for scholarship funding through the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).

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