WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) — A number of first responders, local EMA directors, police officers and many more came together for a unique training day.
The program is called Trans Caer, hosted by the Kansas City Southern Railway Company.
They’re often the first on the scene.
Wednesday, first responders got extra training in another field.
“Anything happens that we’re first on the scene and we kind of take control of things and go from there,” said West Point fireman William White.
These crews went through extra training in railroad hazmat situations.
A hazmat training car, a locomotive and other props were used as hands-on examples.
“We found that it’s far better to know your responders and have worked with them prior to an emergency, things go smoother during the emergency,” said Steve McNealy.
Many trains traveling on these tracks carry hazardous chemicals, which is a reason West Point Fire Chief Ken Wilbourne says this training is important.
“Somebody in all this group right here will be the first people there and you can very well make the situation better instead of making it worse,” said Wilbourne.
McNealy is the hazmat manager for Kansas City Railway. He says although first responders might not have to use this training often, it can save lives.
“It’s a tool of the trades that you want to know how to do when duty calls and muscle memory is what we preach and practice. Trying to learn how to do it in the heat of battle, it’s a very difficult way to get the knowledge,” said McNealy.
The railway sponsors these training sessions in 10 states. It’s the first time for a training like this in West Point.