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Freight Railroads and Energy Customers Develop TRANSCAER® Crude Oil By Rail Safety Course

Course Adds to Railroad Community Emergency Response Outreach Efforts 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Mar. 25, 2015 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and American Petroleum Institute (API) today announced the availability of a new crude-by-rail safety course for first responders around the country.  This introductory course is available free of charge to emergency response organizations and fire departments via the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER®) program, of which railroads and oil companies are members.

"Freight railroads are fully committed to the safe movement of crude oil and other hazardous materials by rail," said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.  "This course is another example of how railroads and their customers work with communities coast-to-coast to help with awareness and preparedness for any type of incident."

"When it comes to shipping crude oil by rail our first priority is safety," said API President and CEO Jack Gerard on a conference call today. "While the first steps are to prevent and mitigate the impact of train derailments, if an incident happens, we also need to make sure firefighters and first responders have the knowledge they need to protect local communities."

This safety course, now available through TRANSCAER® and soon available in a DVD format, covers important safety topics, including: the characteristics of crude oil, a description of the tank cars in which it is shipped, spill response, firefighting considerations, and other information to help fire departments and other emergency response organizations learn about the safety of moving crude oil by rail.  This program will be offered at hazmat and emergency response conferences across North America, and course offerings are already confirmed or being planned in more than 15 states.

Railroads train tens of thousands of first responders each year, in their communities and through programs like TRANSCAER® as well as the Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) at the Transportation Technology Center Inc., in Pueblo, Colo.  SERTC last year launched a specialized training program on crude oil by rail, which is estimated to train more than 3,000 high level hazmat first responders.  Learn more about the safe movement of hazmat by rail, including crude oil here.

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For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at  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. Learn more at

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About TRANSCAER®:  TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and to respond to a possible hazardous materials transportation incident. TRANSCAER® members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as the government.