Huntsville Fire and Rescue goes through train derailment training


Huntsville Fire and Rescue team members learn about train derailments involving hazardous materials.

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The special operations team for Huntsville Fire and Rescue took part in a class hosted by Norfolk Southern. It teaches response and safety to railroad incidents; specifically when hazardous materials are involved.

"For these guys to see it and ask him first-hand questions is really important to us," said Chief Steve Britton.

In a class designed for the special operations team, the members are learning about how to respond to train derailments in various situations.

"We're going to speak about basic railroad safety; how to be safe when they respond to incidents within our railroad right-away," said Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer for Norfolk Southern, Glen Rudner.

Chief Britton with Huntsville Fire and Rescue said its good for his guys to learn more about these situations, because they don't just happen every day.

"It's a refresher for us," said Chief Britton. "His knowledge of the tank cars, the chemicals and the railroad...It just brings it all together for us."

This class is a part of the many re-certifications department team members have to complete every year.

"If you keep it in front of the first responders, what they're able to do is recall it when an incident occurs," said Rudner. "The more training they have, the better they respond, the safer they respond which is our primary concern."

As a part of the department's training, Norfolk Southern unveiled a new app for the fire department to use when identifying different tank cars in an emergency situation.