BNSF is training 500 Washington first responders and by early October the railroad will surpass its goal of training 600 first responders in community hazmat trainings that are being held throughout the state.
The goal will be reached over the course of the next two weeks, with sessions being held this week in Whatcom and Skagit counties and weeklong training kicking off in Seattle on Oct. 6.
The railroad is sending another 142 Washington firefighters to specialized crude by rail training at the national railroad research and training facility in Pueblo, Colo. Those classes began in July and continue through the end of the year.
Firefighters from several communities, including Burlington, Camano Island, Camas, Cheney, Chehalis, East Wenatchee, Federal Way, Ferndale, Gig Harbor, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Kalama, Kennewick, Kent, Lacey, Lakewood, Mount Vernon, Puyallup, Renton, Ridgefield, Seattle, Sedro-Woolley, Snohomish, Spokane, Stanwood, Tacoma, Woodland and Yelm are participating in the Colorado training.
BNSF Railway is underwriting the travel and training expenses for more than 750 first responders across its network for the 2014 training season to help ensure first responders are well-equipped to address the unique characteristics associated with the movement of crude-by-rail. Providing training at the national center is one of the steps the railroad agreed to voluntarily earlier this year in its ongoing efforts to improve the safety of crude by rail and to work with communities on emergency preparedness.