It took a lot of lifting, hauling and precision by heavy cranes to delicately position a multi-ton tanker rail on rail tracks at its new home at the Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center, but it made it where it now serves as a key part of Hazardous Material (HazMat) Training.
The rail car, valued at about $60,000, was donated to the college by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF).
“We will be able to do a better job of hands-on training in all of our HazMat training initiatives. This will include actually being able to climb on top of the car to evaluate problems.” said FSTC Assistant Coordinator James Craft. “Being able to transform our railroad scenarios from theoretical applications to an actual rail car takes our teaching to a new level.”
Craft said adding the car is also significant because it is the first step in making the TCC Fire Service Training Center a National Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER) training facility. TRANSCAER is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on helping communities prepare for and respond to a possible hazardous transportation incident. TRANSCAER members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor and emergency response industries, as well as government agencies.
“TRANSCAER, which provides instructors at no cost, will have a place for classes year round. Local railroad companies anticipate using the facility to train 150-200 employees in the first year and as many as 500 in subsequent years,” Craft said. “TCC gains student continued education contact hours while also providing training that benefits fire service and emergency response entities from all over the United States. This is a win-win for everyone.”
Since opening in 2001, the Fire Service Training Center has graduated 1,896 cadets in 79 classes, and an additional 61,805 students have attended Fire Continuing Education classes.
See the rail car as it moves into its new home by viewing this news story by Media Manager/Videographer Chip Cogswell.