Mandan News

Area groups take on safety

Dozens of first responders gathered at the BNSF rail yard on July 7 to participate in some hands on emergency training. Participants learned a variety of skills, such as what to look for in order to determine what is inside a tank, as well as how to shut down an engine.  (Dustin White photo)

Dozens of first responders gathered at the BNSF rail yard on July 7 to participate in some hands on emergency training. Participants learned a variety of skills, such as what to look for in order to determine what is inside a tank, as well as how to shut down an engine. (Dustin White photo)

By Dustin White
Mandan News, editor

With an increasing amount of oil being moved by rails in the state, one company is focusing on how to more safely ship the product. As part of a three-day specialized crude oil training, which started on Monday, July 7, BNSF Railway is educating local emergency responders by showing them the best practices in preparing for and responding to a crude oil incident.

As part of the training, law enforcement and emergency responders were able to have hands on training with a train that included an engine and three replica tank cars. After classroom session, instructors were able to point out what valves and switches to use in case of an emergency, as well as what to look for when identifying what a tank could be filled with.

Once training was finished in the Mandan area, Amy McBeth, BNSF spokesperson, said that the training, as well as replica tank cars will move onto New Rockford, Minot and Trenton, later this month, in order to conduct similar training with other first responders.

In the last two years, McBeth said that over 700 people in North Dakota, as well as 65,000, since 1996, in the BNSF Railway system, have taken part in the training.