Emergency Responders Sharpen Their Skills
Omaha, Neb., June 25, 2008 Twenty-four emergency response personnel from across the nation have completed the most recent tank car safety course sponsored by Union Pacific Railroad.
"Our tank car safety programs are designed to provide the knowledge and skills local responders need to analyze an emergency 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 tank car 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 rail cars 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 41 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 165,000 emergency response personnel have attended various training programs since 1979.
The emergency response personnel who attended the course from communities or businesses were:
Jesus Bermudez, Kitchell Environmental, Phoenix
Edward Vasquez, Kitchell Environmental, Phoenix
Kevin Hall, Benton Fire Department, Benton
Brian Garber, CH2M Hill, Sacramento
Christopher Sanders, Arcadis – U.S., Inc., San Jose
Allen Yuhl, RAH Environmental, Sacramento
Oscar Sorensen, CH2M Hill, Englewood
Justin Overturf, Freeman Environmental Services, Inc., Herin
Adam Tokarski, Arcadis, Chicago
Corey Archer, Cedar Rapids Fire Department, Cedar Rapids
Johnny Copeland, DeQuincy Fire Department, DeQuincy
Danny Fitzgerald, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, Shreveport
Tom Ballis, Stillwater Fire Department, Stillwater
Jon Christofferson, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, St. Paul
Jose Morales, Clark County Fire Department, Henderson
Michael Parsons, San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio
Richard Smith, The Woodlands Fire Department, The Woodlands
Kevin Lavezzo, CHEMTREC, Arlington
Gary Jolitz, Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee
Union Pacific employees attending the course included: Adam Fisher, Ft. Worth, Texas; Cole Fredrick, St. Louis, Mo.; Matthew Radley, Omaha, Neb.; Benjamin Salo, Roseville, Calif., and Jeffery Van Ness, Las Vegas, Nev.
Instructors included Charlie Wright, manager – hazardous material training, Union Pacific; Dean Cooper, manager – hazardous materials, Union Pacific, and Al Maty, chief inspector, Association of American Railroads–Bureau of Explosives. 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 rsquo;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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