Emergency Responders Complete Union Pacific-Sponsored Tank Car Safety Course

Omaha, Neb., November 6, 2006 – Twenty-eight emergency response personnel from across the nation have completed a tank car safety course sponsored by Union Pacific Railroad.

"The knowledge and skills from the program help local responders analyze an emergency and plan a response within their capabilities," said Charlie Wright, manager-hazardous material training.  "It allows them to better protect themselves, the community and the railroad when an emergency occurs."

Students received classroom training on a variety of safety subjects, as well as how to identify tank car types, fittings and construction during an emergency.  The course provided hands-on experience in using resource materials, 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 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 October 8 - 13 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.

Since 1986, Union Pacific has sponsored 38 five-day training programs at the Transportation Technology Center for more than 785 emergency response personnel from communities served by UP, as well as more than 145 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:

  • Arizona:
    Scott Clark, Northwest Fire District, Tucson
  • California:
    Eric Bennett, Barstow Fire Protection District, Wesperia
    Adrian Rodriguez, Niland Fire Department, Niland
  • Colorado:
    Mark Pickerel, Pueblo Fire Department, Pueblo
    Vic Stehle, Jr., Arvada Fire Department, Arvada
  • Illinois:
    Bill Fox, Wood Dale Fire Department, Wood Dale
  • Kansas:
    John McLoughlin, Ford County Fire and EMS, Dodge City
  • Louisiana:
    Ross Guillory, Lake Charles Fire Department, Lake Charles
  • Michigan:
    Gil Rider, Dow Chemical, Midland
  • Nevada:
    David Bixler, Elko Fire Department, Elko
    Scott Straily, Clark County Fire Department, Henderson
  • Oklahoma:
    Michael Lawver, Enid Fire Department, Enid
    John Shaffer, Guymon Fire Department, Guymon
  • Texas:
    Mike Akin, Texarkana Fire Department, Texarkana
    Curtis Brown, Dalhart Fire Department, Dalhart
    Kenny Copeland, Texarkana Fire Department, Texarkana
    Lance Walker, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Tomball
  • Virginia:
    Nancy White, American Chemistry Council, Arlington
  • Wyoming:
    Gary Egge, Laramie Fire Department, Laramie

Union Pacific Railroad employees attending the course included: Allan Brown, St. Louis, Mo.; Brian Christianson, Kansas City, Kan.; Jim Henley, Omaha, Neb.; Adrian Hernandez, Los Angeles, Calif.; Jen Johnson, Stockton, Calif.; Selva Karunakaran, Omaha, Neb.; Tom Mengel, Omaha, Neb.; Jeff Thompson, Cheyenne, Wyo.; David Tuma, Omaha, Neb.

Instructors included Charlie Wright, manager-hazardous material training, Union Pacific Railroad; Dean Cooper, manager-chemical transportation safety, Union Pacific Railroad; Al Maty, chief inspector, Association of American Railroads-Bureau of Explosives; Mike Moore, manager-chemical transportation safety, Union Pacific Railroad and Joe Barbari, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.  Union Pacific’s Charlie Wright coordinated the course.

Jobs at Union Pacific

 Currently, Union Pacific has job openings at many locations throughout its 23-state operating system.  Opportunities are available in train service, skilled disciplines (e.g., diesel mechanics and electricians) and management.  Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.unionpacific.jobs

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 more information, contact Mark Davis (402) 544-5459.

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