Virtual Training Keeps First Responders Prepared During COVID
Kids aren’t the only ones learning from home these days. First responders are getting valuable lessons in railroad safety from the comfort of homes and stations, thanks to virtual training BNSF initiated in response to COVID-19.
“Every year we train 6,000 to 10,000 first responders in Railroad Emergency Response and Hazardous Material Awareness, some self-directed online and much of it in person,” said Pat Brady, BNSF’s General Director, Hazardous Materials Safety. “ … We started to cancel the in-community classes and scheduled live webinars to allow first responders to safely continue this much-needed training.”
During the 90-minute sessions, first responders, both full-time and volunteer, learn how to safely and efficiently respond to railroad hazardous materials (hazmat) incidents. Similar to the in-person training, the webinars are free.
While rail is one of the safest ways to transport crude oil and hazmat, derailments and other incidents can occur. Fortunately, 99.99% of BNSF’s hazmat shipments reach their destination without a release caused by a train incident.
Every day, BNSF Railway operates thousands of trains across a 32,500-mile network in 28 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. Our employees make an enormous contribution to the North American economy by moving the goods people need in their daily lives.
Annually, we haul enough grain to supply 900 million people with a year’s supply of bread and enough steel tonnage to build more than 200 Empire State Buildings. A new car or truck is loaded onto or unloaded from a BNSF train every 11 seconds. Explore this virtual train tour to learn more about how we do it!
Celebrating 40 Years of Rail Safety
2021 is a big year for Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada. It marks 40 years since they began their mission to educate Canadians about the risks surrounding railway crossings, tracks and trains.
“Over the past four decades, OL has fostered safety-conscious attitudes toward railways, promoted safe driving skills and encouraged Canadians to think twice before using tracks as a recreation or play area,” said Sarah Mayes, OL’s National Director. “Our outreach and campaigns―including #STOPTrackTragedies, Look. Listen. Live. and #TraintoDrive―have helped to reduce the number of collisions at railway crossings, and prevented needless injuries and deaths from rail trespassing. That’s something we should all be proud of.”