The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) has appointed Ryan Risdon to the new position of Manager, Program Support.
Risdon will provide support to both the safety culture and hazardous materials training programs, reported SLSI, which noted that each program “has grown steadily, adding new elements such as Leadership Development Training, Transportation Emergency Response Plans (TERP) and Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) to address safety gaps in the short line railroad industry.” More than 128 Safety Culture Assessments have been conducted to date, including for freight, tourist and passenger railroads, according to SLSI, and 2,632 individuals across 476 railroads have received hazardous materials training from the organization over the past five years.
Risdon is a volunteer firefighter for the Kittitas County Fire Protection District #6 in Ronald, Wash. He worked for more than 22 years for BNSF, holding such roles as Hazmat Manager, General Foreman II, Mechanical Foreman II, Mechanical Forman I and carman.
“We are excited to have Ryan aboard,” SLSI Executive Director Tom Murta said. “He brings significant and diverse experience in managing the challenging environment of railroading from both the employee and contractor perspectives. In addition, his more than 15 years as a firefighter/EMT volunteer will provide meaningful insight into how we can best serve the training needs of emergency personnel who may be called to the scene of a railroad incident.”
“With the recent completion of the inaugural ALERT training, and increased attention being paid to hazardous materials safety response following the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the SLSI is poised to develop and deploy several new programs that will provide enhanced training to short line railroads before, during and after an incident,” Risdon said. “I’m looking forward to applying my experience as an emergency responder, and as a safety professional on a railroad to benefit the short line railroad industry.”