Fire and police chiefs, EMTs and emergency coordinators gathered for train derailment training at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center on Monday night.
Norfolk Southern holds the training sessions across its 22-state rail network to prepare local responders for train derailments and chemical spills.
Trains carry toxic chemicals like crude oil, butane oil and many others across central PA. They’re required by federal law to carry the hazardous materials.
While spills are rare, derailments with hazardous materials have recently caused problems in Lynchburg, VA and Los Angeles.
First responders divided into groups for recovery steps – including search and rescue, Hazmat response and long-term recovery.
“Despite some of these high profile incidents, railroads do operate a safe network,” says Dave Pidgeon, manager of public relations at Norfolk Southern. “But like the airline industry, like the car industry, we are constantly looking for ways to make it safer, that’s one reason why we’re here tonight.”