Will expand safety program that trains 5,000 first responders annually
ATLANTA, March 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) announced Wednesday that it will create a new regional training center in Ohio for first responders. Additionally, Norfolk Southern will expand its Operation Awareness & Response (OAR) program, which travels the company's 22-state network and trains first responders on how to respond safely to rail incidents.
Norfolk Southern will partner with community leaders to identify a location for the new facility. The mission of the safety training center will be to provide additional, free training for first responders from Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the greater region. It will also strengthen coordination between railroads and first responders in the event of an emergency response.
"These commitments are the direct result of my conversations with Governor DeWine and other leaders, all to better support our first responders and their communities. First responders are often immediately on the scene of a rail incident, and we want to ensure they have the knowledge and tools to work safely and effectively to protect the health and safety of their fellow citizens," said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw. "I want to reiterate our profound gratitude to the first responders from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia who rushed to the derailment site on February 3rd."
"The derailment in East Palestine made clear that ensuring first responders are prepared for disasters involving hazardous materials is vitally important to the safety of communities," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. "Often, first responders are volunteers, and their need to have the most up-to-date training and equipment is vitally important. Today's commitment by Norfolk Southern is an important next step in the company's commitment to make the citizens of Ohio and of East Palestine whole after the recent derailments, a commitment Ohio will continue to monitor closely."
While the location for the dedicated facility is selected, training classes will commence on March 22 at Norfolk Southern's yard in Bellevue, Ohio.
Additionally, Norfolk Southern is expanding its OAR program, which provides training to approximately 5,000 first responders annually. In 2023, the program will make 12 stops, with four to be scheduled in Ohio. At the center of the OAR program is a safety train which includes a dedicated locomotive, specially-equipped classroom box cars, and several tank cars designed to provide first responders with hands-on training. It also provides training on the AskRail mobile app that enables first responders to use their mobile phones to look up commodity and response information on rail shipments.
About Norfolk Southern
Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have safely moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and is the largest rail shipper of auto products and metals in North America. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S., serving a majority of the country's population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting www.NorfolkSouthern.com.
SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation