First Responders Get Rail-Safety Training from LIRC & CSX
On September 20, 2016, nearly 20 local, state and federal agencies came together with specialists from the Louisville and Indiana Railroad (LIRC) and CSX to learn how to safely respond to rail emergencies in southern Indiana.
Local firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders participated in a full-scale mock exercise that simulated hazardous materials leaking from tank cars on the CSX Safety Train, which was specifically designed to give first responders hands-on experience with rail operations and equipment.
“The safety of these first responders is our top priority,” said Mike Austin, director of hazardous materials and senior on-scene coordinator for CSX. “This training gives them the opportunity to see the different types of equipment on a train and how to operate that equipment before an actual emergency occurs. We want them to feel prepared when responding to rail incidents so they know how to protect the public and stay safe while they are doing it.”
The exercise, which was held in Jeffersonville, Ind., was part of a series of training stops in Indiana conducted by CSX hazardous materials specialists and specialized contractors. Over two weeks in September, nearly 400 firefighters and other emergency personnel participated in the training in preparation for more train traffic on the 106-mile LIRC line between Louisville and Indianapolis.
As part of a 2013 agreement between CSX and the LIRC, CSX is investing up to $90 million to upgrade tracks, bridges and signals to safely support more freight train traffic on the route between the two cities, which are vital hubs in America’s freight network. The LIRC corridor offers a more efficient freight route that benefits manufacturers, farmers, marine ports and other industries that drive the area’s economy.
CSX and LIRC are committed to conducting safety training with first responders working in the communities along the LIRC tracks and to help them better prepare for rail emergencies as freight traffic grows.
“We have strong relationships with the local agencies in the communities where we operate and training events like this allow us to strengthen those relationships even further and keep an open line of communication with these first responders,” Austin said.
Every year the CSX Safety Train travels the 21,000-mile CSX network, conducting similar training across the eastern United States at no cost to the agencies that participate. In 2015, nearly 4,000 first responders completed safety training with this program.
See the links below for media reports about the training.