What’s involved in Railroad 101 training

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Mike LoVecchio, director of government affairs with Canadian Pacific, addresses executive committee with information on CP's operations safety within the community at the March 17, 2014 meeting.

Canadian Pacific (CP) does training with fire departments such as Moose Jaw and other emergency responders called Railroad 101.

“What we talk about is how to recognize what rail line you’re on because it’s very important. There’s a lot of rail lines and local fire departments obviously know basically their territories. We show them how to identify the railway,” said Doug Mayor, CP dangerous goods specialist for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

“We look at different parts and components of a tank, not to get into the technical data because it is quite involved. When we look at a derailment happening with dangerous goods, the first most important thing is to find out what you’re dealing with and do an assessment.”

He said municipal and surrounding areas have emergency responders that might be on site before CP’s emergency responders. That’s why it is important to have that training in place.

“We teach them how to read a train consist and how to read the waybills on a train consist to get immediate information, make whatever phone calls to emergency centres that they need,” said Mayor. “We’ll set up an incident command where collectively we’ll work with the local fire departments, whether it be rural or a city fire department, and try to set up different zones based on the commodity that’s at risk.”

Fire department personnel are not expected to do any of the hazardous work, but they might need to do initial assessments and discussions to “mitigate any sort of risk that would present itself at a derailment,” said Mayor.

“It gives a little more of an inside view of railway operations as opposed to arriving on a scene and really not knowing what to do,” he said. “It’s very high level.”

To read more about Canadian Pacific's efforts to increase operations safety, go here.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Geographic location: Manitoba, Saskatchewan

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