UP-Dow Chemical Safety Train Ready to Roll

A safety train fitted with a classroom and training center will roll into 10 communities along the Mississippi River corridor during the next month to provide free railroad and chemical transportation training to local firefighters and emergency responders. The 2008 TRANSCAER Training Tour, presented by Union Pacific Railroad and Dow Chemical Co., is scheduled to start its journey April 9 in Alexandria, La., and end it May 8 in Chicago.

TRANSCAER, an acronym for Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response, is a voluntary national outreach consortium of chemical-related companies, transport companies, and associations that was created 22 years ago. "TRANSCAER is an important extension of our industries’ shared commitment to the security and safety of the many people and communities we touch," said Rollie Shook of Dow's Emergency Services and Security, incoming chairman of the National TRANSCAER Task Group. "This program and the resources it makes available are intended to help safeguard the public by providing first responders with the information and training they need to effectively respond in the unlikely event of a chemical transportation incident."

Dow's information about the tour says these will be covered in the training:

* Locomotives and Tank Cars: Learn what safety precautions to take when responding to a rail emergency, how to identify different types of tank cars, and how to interpret tank car markings, placards, and train manifest (consist) information.
* Toxic Inhalation Hazard Materials and Flammable Gases: Learn about the basic physical, chemicalm and toxic properties of the most common TIH and flammable gas materials; understand how to safely approach an incident scene and what precautions to take during the response and how to use the TRANSCAER process for pre-planning for these types of events.
* Valves, Fittings, and Leak Repair: Learn how to identify different types of tank car fittings, where they tend to leak from, and how to use leak repair tools and specialized kits ("C-kit" and Midland Kit).
* Tank Truck Course: Participants will learn about general tank truck anatomy, including the features and operation of tank trucks, trailer/product identification methods, and basic spill/emergency response techniques, as they apply to this mode of transporting hazardous materials.

"Emergency responders play a truly invaluable role in protecting the public’s safety and security," said Lou Wagner, general director of chemical transportation safety for Union Pacific. "Through TRANSCAER, these men and women have the opportunity to learn firsthand from chemical and rail transportation experts about the safe movement of chemicals through their communities."

Following Alexandria, the tour will visit Monroe, La.; Pine Bluff and Little Rock, Ark.; Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and five stops in Illinois, including West Frankfort, Salem, Villa Grove, and two locations in Chicago.  The 2007 TRANSCAER tour trained more than 1,000 emergency responders in California, Texas, and the Gulf Coast region. Visit www.transcaer.org for information.

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