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In collaboration with The Firefighters Education and Training Foundation, Union Pacific Railroad has converted a box car into a mobile classroom.The climate-controlled classroom expanded the Class I's fleet of training equipment used to educate emergency responders. The railroad plans to pair courses in the mobile classroom with first-hand rail operations observations to provide emergency responders an enhanced learning experience, UP officials said in a press release. The training will cover such topics as how hazardous materials are shipped, tank-car types and construction, and UP's protocol in the event of a derailment.The mobile classroom also will be used in conjunction with the railroad's tank-car trainers to provide hands-on experience in assessing tank-car damage, including on-site repair and fire suppression techniques, and ways to control car releases."We are excited about using the mobile classroom to support our extensive roster of first-responder training programs," said Bob Grimaila, UP's vice president of safety, security and environment. "This investment increases access to specialized hands-on training for firefighters and other emergency responders along our rail lines, and enables us to build more relationships with the leaders who help keep our communities safe."The Class I proactively tries to reach out to fire departments and other emergency responders to offer comprehensive training in communities where the railroad operates, UP officials said. The company annually trains approximately 2,500 local, state and federal first responders on ways to minimize the impact of a potential derailment. Since 2003, UP has trained nearly 38,000 public responders and about 7,500 private responders, such as shippers and contractors.
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