CSX prepares local first responders for railroad hazmat emergencies

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
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WALBRIDGE, Ohio (WTVG) - Incidents involving trains and hazardous materials don’t happen very often, but when they do it can be dangerous.

That’s why first responders from Toledo and other surrounding areas were trained by experts from CSX, a freight rail company.

“It’s very important for us as a hazmat team to go out and make relationships with local first responders so they can respond effectively to an incident that may occur and try to bring that incident to a safe resolve,” said Scott Karcher, the manager of hazardous materials for CSX.

So in what kinds of situations would this training be used?

“If one of these cars was leaking and it has a hazardous chemical, they can either leak out of the bottom or the top. These gentlemen are teaching our members how to stop the leaks or vapors from getting out,” said Mike Posadny, battalion chief of special operations and homeland security for Toledo Fire and Rescue.

CSX said this kind of training is the best way to be prepared because they use real equipment with pressurized air to simulate what a real hazmat incident might look like.

“These are very low-frequency, high-risk events that we don’t get to practice on very often, and now they actually have railcars out here,” said Posadny. “We can sit in a classroom all day but it’s much different when they can get up on the cars, learn how to maneuver on them, and all the safety factors.”

Plus, CSX hazmat experts can’t always be there when something goes wrong.

“ It’s really incumbent that we as a hazmat team and as CSX are able to partner with our communities and ensure that we have safe travel.”

Learn more about CSX and the work it does here.

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