There will be a “fire school” in southwest Iowa this weekend, a training session for rescue and fire crews with a special extra chapter. The volunteers will get training in passenger-train emergency response, from Amtrak’s Josie Harper.It’s called “Operation Respond” training for firefighters, and includes a classroom session on passenger trains, getting familiar with the train cars and equipment, evacuation and even typical “passenger types” depending on the time of year. Harper is manager of emergency preparedness for Amtrak, and she says the Burlington Northern Railroad’s also sending a representative to help the fire and rescue workers drill in train wrecks and emergencies. Part of the class is on typical emergencies, fire and rescue situations that emergency personnel would likely respond to, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe is doing a session on identifying hazardous materials. Harper says real Amtrak passenger-train cars will be used in the training demonstration. A locomotive and two passenger cars will be the same kind the railroad operates, and the emergency responders will walk through to get familiar with the inside and outside of the cars. It’s just over two years since an Amtrak train derailed in Nodaway, killing one person and injuring nearly 100 in an isolated rural area. Harper expects that to make this a slightly different training session.She expects more feedback from the firefighters, since many in that area responded to the crash at Nodaway, and she’s eager to hear what challenges they had. The fire school will be held at Southwestern Community College in Creston this Saturday and Sunday.
You are here: / / Train training includes passenger train rescue