PUEBLO, CO – September 8, 2020 –The Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC), an initiative of Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), announced the launch of its first-ever online training academy, which kicks off tomorrow with a Highway Emergency Response Class. The new platform allows SERTC to advance its mission of providing quality, essential training to the nation’s first responders despite ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last 35 years, SERTC has trained more than 70,000 first responders and emergency responders worldwide on safely managing a rail incident involving hazardous material (hazmat) shipments. The online, interactive classes will fulfill the classroom component of the training and give participants a leg-up when they can safely travel to Pueblo for the hands-on portion of the class.

“Railroads’ commitment to the safety and the communities we serve runs deep, which is why we make every effort to ensure first responders are prepared to safely respond to a potential rail incident,” said Lisa Stabler, President, Transportation Technology Center, Inc. “This innovative new training model adapts to today’s challenges and meets first responders where they are despite the ongoing pandemic.”

“We’ve pivoted to meet the needs of the industry as well as the needs of emergency responders as times have changed,” said Forrest Wieder, Director of SERTC. “With SERTC’s customized online platform, the course will enable first responders and trainees to participate with greater flexibility. COVID-19 taught us many things—including that the way we need to teach our nation’s first responders is to come up with diverse options to get them the information they need to stay safe.”

Through railroad and government-sponsored initiatives, financial assistance is available for firefighters and first responders interested in enrolling in SERTC training programs. As a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), qualifying SERTC participants can receive full funding for the new online training module as well as future in-person components.

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For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.

About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak.