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Rail News: Safety

BNSF on track to train 600 first responders in Washington come October


By week's end, BNSF Railway Co. expects to have trained 500 first responders in Washington this year, putting the railroad on pace to surpass its goal of training 600 responders by early October.

By year's end, the Class I expects to have trained more than 4,000 first responders in Washington since 2004. The railroad holds community hazardous materials training courses throughout the state.

In addition, BNSF is sending another 142 Washington firefighters to specialized crude-by-rail training courses at the Transportation Technology Center Inc. in Pueblo, Colo. Those classes began in July and will continue through year's end.

BNSF expects to underwrite the travel and training expenses for more than 750 first responders across its network this year to help ensure first responders are well-equipped to address the unique characteristics associated with moving crude by rail.

For decades, the railroad has held community haz-mat training exercises for first responders. On average BNSF trains 3,500 local first responders each year across its network, and has trained 65,000 responders since 1996.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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