TRANSCAER reaches out to communities with safety training

Oct 19, 2017   | Categories: Energy, Environment, Fuels, Issues
Safety is not just top of mind for the transportation fuels industry – it’s the number 1 goal.
The safe transportation of fuels reaches beyond refinery operations and involves communities across Canada; it’s why Canadian Fuels is a partner in TRANSCAER®, a voluntary organization founded in 1985 by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). Today, it’s led by CIAC and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC).
TRANSCAER® stands for Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response, and its mission is to bring safety training to communities around the country, says Kara Edwards, Director, Transportation and national TRANSCAER® Co-ordinator.
“TRANSCAER® exists to help ensure communities are informed about the products being moved through their area, and are prepared to respond to potential incidents involving dangerous goods,” said Edwards.
By travelling to communities, TRANSCAER® establishes partnerships between manufacturers, distributors, carriers, emergency responders, government agencies and residents – an important first step in preparing for any transportation emergency.

“Hosting a TRANSCAER® event is a great opportunity for industry to reach out to municipal officials, emergency responders, and residents along transportation routes, and engage them in reviewing their own emergency response preparedness and training,” said Rob Hoffman, the CFA’s Canadian Fuels Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations.
“I recently attended a TRANSCAER® event hosted by Parkland Fuel Corporation at their Bowden, Alberta, terminal in September 2017, and witnessed firsthand how TRANSCAER® helps to develop and strengthen these positive relationships with the local community,” he said.

Great idea: the Safety Training Tank Car

One of the effective ways TRANSCAER® connects with communities is with the TRANSCAER® Safety Train, or CCPX 911.
“It’s a railway tank car that was converted into a classroom on wheels in 1990 for the purpose of training emergency responders,” said Edwards. “It was the first training railway car of its kind in Canada – a concept that has since been adopted by other organizations across North America and around the world.
“Today it is owned and managed by the Railway Association of Canada and makes stops in communities across Canada to help ensure communities are aware and prepared.”
The number of events varies per year. In 2016, TRANSCAER® had “a great year,” said Edwards, with CIAC members, partners and staff leading outreach events touching more than 2,000 people.
“This represents events CIAC members supported in 24 communities across seven provinces,” said Edwards. “Some of the key events were three days of outreach in Lac-Mégantic, a one-day session in Ottawa, as well as large multi-industry collaborative events held in Elmira, Calgary and Prince George. This number grows when we take into account the outreach other partners are doing as well.”

Safety train
Feedback has been positive. “Excellent. Really enjoyed it,” wrote one participant. “Left with enough info to understand the need for experts here.”
Another said the instructors made the day. “It was clear they had extensive knowledge and wanted to share it. They worked well together to make sure everyone learned a lot.”
Other participants called the events engaging, well-articulated, enjoyable and they recommended them for all first responders.
Partners in TRANSCAER® also include the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Responsible Distribution Canada, Canadian Emergency Response Contractors Alliance, the Chlorine Institute, Emergency Response Assistance Canada, and the American Chemistry Council.
Find out more about how TRANSCAER® helps Canadian Fuels members reach their safety goals.
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