Emergency Responders Complete Union Pacific-Sponsored Tank Car Safety Course

Omaha, Neb., October 27, 2005 – Twenty-three emergency response personnel from across the western two-thirds of the nation have completed a tank car safety course sponsored by Union Pacific Railroad.

The five-day, 40-hour course was held October 9-14 at the Association of American Railroad's Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo. Union Pacific covered all the attendees’ expenses, with no cost being incurred by the communities or organizations.

Students received classroom training on different types of tank cars, including how to use resource materials describing tank car types, fittings and construction during an emergency. The course provided hands-on experience in assessing tank car damage, making repairs, transferring hazardous materials from damaged equipment, and using protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus.

As a "final exam," the class participated in simulated hazardous material accidents. The simulations help students understand how the railroad works with them in an emergency and how to work safely while on railroad property.

Since 1986, Union Pacific has sponsored 36 five-day training programs at the Transportation Technology Center for 750 emergency response personnel from communities served by UP, as well as 130 Union Pacific response personnel.

In addition to the tank car safety courses at Pueblo, Union Pacific offers local hazardous material training programs to communities. More than 160,000 emergency response personnel have attended various training programs since 1979.

The emergency response personnel who attended the course from communities or businesses were:

  • Arizona:
    Justin Keith, Rio Rico Fire Department, Rio Rico
  • California:
    Matt Balara, Proctor & Gamble Co., Sacramento
    Cedric Cesena, Calexico Fire Department, Calexico
    Rob Eaton, Alameda County Fire Department, Lafayette
    Agustin Frausto, Customs & Border Protection, El Centro
    Jason Vestal, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Lincoln
  • Idaho:
    Jay Coulter, Caldwell Fire Department, Caldwell
  • Illinois:
    Danny Graessle, Alton & Southern Railway, East St. Louis
  • Kansas:
    Scott Haworth, Pratt City Fire Department, Pratt
  • Missouri:
    Barry White, Sedalia Fire Department, Sedalia
  • Nevada:
    Randy Wilbanks, Las Vegas Fire Department, Las Vegas
  • New Mexico:
    Bill Martin, Lincoln Co. Office of Emergency Services, Ruidoso
  • Texas:
    Gregory Dreiss, City of Sequin Fire Department, New Braunfels
    John Linda, Waco Fire Department, Waco
    Marci Perry, Sugar Land Fire Department, Sugar Land
    Wayne Rush, Elkhart Volunteer Fire Department, Elkhart
    Paul Stodgel, Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, Dallas
  • Virginia:
    Kevin Runnels, CHEMTREC, Centreville
  • Wisconsin:
    Steve DeJager, Friesland Fire Department, Friesland

Union Pacific Railroad employees attending the course included: Alfredo Dominguez, Omaha, Neb.; Dan Milovanovic, Pocatello, Idaho; Brandy Olson, DeSoto, Mo., and Jaro Sebek, Omaha, Neb.

Instructors included Charlie Wright, manager–hazardous material training, Union Pacific Railroad; Al Maty, chief inspector, Association of American Railroads–Bureau of Explosives; Danny Simpson, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.; Bill Baker, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.; Joe Barbari, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.; Russ McNamara, Transportation Technology Center, Inc., and Todd Skoglund, Transportation Technology Center, Inc. Union Pacific’s Charlie Wright coordinated the course.

Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.

For further information, contact Mark Davis: (402) 544-5459

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