CN Safety Program in B.C. Gets National Recognition



    VANCOUVER, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - CN's Dangerous Goods Team has won the Railway
Association of Canada's 2008 Safety Award for their efforts to improve contact
and communications with emergency responders in the field.
    The program started in British Columbia two years ago when the Port of
Prince Rupert was being expanded to handle import/export container traffic.
Communities felt CN's Emergency Response presence had room to grow, and
believed they lacked sufficient training and equipment in the event of a
railway derailment.
    CN partnered with Channel Solutions and Quantum Environment to develop
and deliver an on-line two-day training program for responders through six hub
sites in B.C. They offered the program to 120 municipal responders in
36 communities.
    Cliff MacKay, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada,
said: "The project is a smart way to invest in the safe, secure transport of
dangerous goods by rail. It fosters open communications and builds
partnerships with local communities resulting in better emergency preparedness
and planning. They hope to build on it system-wide."
    "It is difficult for volunteer firefighters to leave their jobs for up to
a week or more for emergency response training," said Terrace Fire Chief Peter
Weeber. "As well, rural fire departments have limited financial resources to
provide this type of training to their brigade.
    "When I think back to the first meeting in Smithers, B.C., I have to
admit I could never have imagined a large corporation taking our concerns as
seriously as CN did. The online component was flexible and key to meeting the
needs of both volunteer and career departments."
    Brian Lockhart, regional director for British Columbia of Canada's
Chemical Producers, commended the company for their initiative and supports
their ongoing efforts.
    REACT, or Responder Education Assistance and Certification Training, is
tailored to rural communities, and this type of partnership between a
transportation company and communities is unique in North America.

    The annual Safety and Environmental Awards program was created in 2005 by
the Railway Association of Canada, which represents some 55 freight and
passenger railways, to encourage workers to adopt safe, environmental
practices and operational techniques. They transport 75 per cent of surface
freight in the country, move 67.9 million passengers annually and generate
only three per cent of the country's transportation greenhouse gas emissions.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Roger Cameron, Railway
Association of Canada, (613) 564-8097, rogerc@railcan.ca

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