Emergency Responders Complete Union Pacific-Sponsored Tank Car Safety Course

Omaha, Neb., November 05, 2007 – Twenty-six emergency response personnel from across the nation have completed the most recent tank car safety course sponsored by Union Pacific.

"Our tank car safety programs are designed to provide the knowledge and skills local responders need to analyze an emergency involving tank cars and plan a response within their capabilities," said Charlie Wright, manager, hazardous materials training, Union Pacific. "This five-day course offers information and hands-on experience responders can use to protect themselves and their communities when an emergency occurs."

The training covers a variety of safety subjects including how to identify tank car types, fittings and construction features during an emergency. Participants also receive hands-on experience in assessing tank car damage, making repairs, controlling the release of hazardous materials from damaged equipment and using protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus.

For a final exam, class members participate in three 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.

The five-day, 40-hour course was held at the Association of American Railroad’s Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo. Union Pacific covers all attendees’ expenses, with no cost to communities or organizations.

Since 1986, Union Pacific has sponsored 40 five-day training programs at the Transportation Technology Center for more than 800 emergency response personnel from communities served by UP, as well as more than 150 Union Pacific response personnel.

In addition to the tank car safety courses at the Transportation Technology Center, 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:

  • California:
    Haldis Fearn, HMF2, San Leandro
    Jack Fry, Los Angeles Fire Department, Fallbrook
  • Colorado:
    Chris Cross, Fort Lupton Fire Department, Fort Lupton
     Christopher Garner, Arapaho Co. Sheriff’s Office, Centennial
  • Idaho
    Christopher Solomon, Pocatello Fire Department, Pocatello
  • Kansas:
    Andrew Martin, Paola Fire Department, Paola
  • Louisiana:
    Travis Day, Louisiana State Police, Baton Rouge
    Gregory Kellogg, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, DeQuincy
  • Minnesota:
    Greg Malmquist, Lake Elmo Fire Department, Lake Elmo
  • Missouri:
    Shawn Bittle St. Louis Fire Department, St. Louis
    Arthur Goodin, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Poplar Bluff
  • Nebraska:
    Robert Borer, Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Lincoln
  • Nevada:
    Lenny Mayorga, North Las Vegas Fire Department, North Las Vegas
  • New Mexico:
    Kalon Lafferty, Tucumcari Fire Department, Tucumcari
  • Pennsylvania:
    Zachary Dunkelberger, Rohn & Haas, Bristol
  • Texas: 
    Derek Brown, Richmond Fire Department, Richmond
    Israel Chapa, Webster Fire Department, Houston
    David Crawford, Applebee Fire Department, Nacogdoches
    Andres Sanchez, McAllen Fire Department, Edinburg
  • Utah:
    Mark Bednarik, Salt Lake City Fire Department, Roy
  • Wisconsin:
    Sonia Kubesh, Roberts Police Department, Roberts

Union Pacific employees attending the course included: Sara Combs, Palestine, Texas; Shawn Miller, Omaha, Neb.; Robert Morrison, North Platte, Neb.; Roderick Riley; Omaha, Neb., and Godsent Ukpan, Omaha, Neb.
  
Instructors included Charlie Wright, manager - hazardous material training, Union Pacific; Dean Cooper, manager - hazardous materials, Union Pacific; Al Maty, chief inspector, Association of American Railroads-Bureau of Explosives, and Lane Sekavec, manager - hazardous materials, Union Pacific.  Union Pacific’s Wright coordinated the course.

About Union Pacific

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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