As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, BNSF conducted hands-on winter weather training with first responders in the Flathead Valley in early March. About 30 participants gained techniques to safely respond in the unlikely event of an incident involving crude oil trapped under the ice.

The free training was open to all first responders and emergency personnel. Participants learned to recognize and avoid hazards while working on the ice. They received hands-on practice with self-rescue, teammate support and oil recovery techniques. For example, class attendees learned how to slot the ice and use floating boom to deflect or collect oil from under the ice. Responders also learned how airboats are a vital tool in ice operations and rescues. All trainings are provided by highly qualified BNSF employees and contractors.

BNSF has a long history of working with and training first responders across the railroad’s network. Through the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER) program, BNSF, along with other rail industry partners, provides training for emergency hazmat responders.

In 2020, BNSF trained more than 9,000 responders. During the pandemic, BNSF pivoted and offered training via webinars and web-based classes. When safe and practical, BNSF uses our hazmat-training equipment to deliver free, practical, hands-on training to first responders that prepares them to safely and effectively respond to railroad hazmat incidents. BNSF also provides free online railroad hazardous materials familiarization courses for community emergency responders.

Learn more about BNSF’s training and to sign up for classes by clicking here!