Last week, area fire departments and emergency response personnel had a rare opportunity to receive training in handing an accident involving hazardous materials.
The training program is called TransCaer, and is a nationwide program sponsored by Dow Chemicals. Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad, NEMA and the Nebraska State Patrol were some of the entities responsible for brining this professional training program to Nebraska, and to Broken Bow.
The training tour made stops in four communities across the state. Besides Broken Bow, they also held programs in Alliance, Crete and Hastings.
Fire and EMS departments from across the area were invited to attend the training workshop July 6, at the Broken Bow Fire Hall. The program was during the evening hours to allow more people to be able to attend.
Following a time of actual classroom instruction, the participants were led to the old depot where they were given first-hand training on such topics as being able to understand the lingo on the side of a train car to know what the car might contain, and the dangers involved. This hands-on training program used rail training equipment and highway transports, with a special emphasis on anhydrous ammonia production, packaging and shipping.
TransCaer (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and to respond to a possible hazardous materials transportation incident. TransCaer members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as the government.
The training is free, and is recommended for first responders, fire departments and law enforcement personnel.