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CSX Transportation's Director of Hazardous Materials Romano DeSimone has been awarded the Association of American Railroad (AAR) Holden-Proefrock Award for significant career achievements and contributions to the safe transportation of hazardous materials by rail.DeSimone, who has more than 30 years of combined experience with CSX and Conrail, leads CSX's team of hazardous materials managers and has maintained an injury-free record for his team's response efforts over 25 years. He developed significant response experience with hazardous materials including as a field hazmat responder in New York and his first-response efforts at various rail incidents, CSX officials said in a press release."CSX puts safety at the forefront of everything we do, and Romano has personified this commitment through his leadership and courage," said Skip Elliott, vice president, public safety, health and environment at CSX. "Romano's achievements, especially his visionary leadership of safety training programs, have made a lasting impact on our culture and our relationships with the communities we serve."DeSimone has become a recognized leader for equipping emergency responders with the information and skills needed for safe and effective responses to rail-related incidents. As a member of the Firefighters Education and Training Foundation's board, he spearheaded the development of Safety Train programs to bring hands-on training to local communities.The lifetime achievement award is named for Roy Holden and Art Proefrock, pioneers in the safe rail transportation of hazardous materials, and is awarded annually to recognize lifetime achievement in this field. DeSimone received the award earlier this week in Addison, Texas, at the 28th Hazmat Seminar hosted by the AAR and Bureau of Explosives.DeSimone is the fourth CSX employee to receive the the Holden-Proefrock Award.At the same awards ceremony, DeSimone and CSX employee Harry Hopes also received the TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) Torch award, which is given to retiring members who have made a significant contribution to this voluntary national outreach effort focused on preparation and response for hazardous material transportation incidents.
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