The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has partnered with CSX, a premier transportation company providing rail, intermodal, and rail-to-truck transload services, to provide scholarships to help more first responders attend their hands-on rail response training programs. Six NVFC members who live in CSX’s service area were selected from across the nation to receive an all-expense-paid trip to attend a weeklong course at the CSX Railroad Education and Training Institute (REDI) in Atlanta, GA.
CSX was originally providing three scholarships to outstanding first responders. However, due to the many quality applications, they increased the award to provide six individuals with full scholarships for the weeklong trainings. Three winners will attend the CSX Responder Outreach Unit Train Emergencies course in August, and the other three will participate in the CSX HazMat Sentinel Class in October.
“The NVFC extends our heartfelt gratitude to CSX for their dedication to first responder training. Their generosity allows six boots-on-the-ground firefighters the opportunity to enhance their skills and better serve their communities.” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn, who participated in a CSX training in May. “I can attest to the high-level, professional training at the REDI. We look forward to continuing our partnership to benefit departments nationwide.”
Meet the 2016 Scholarship Recipients
Brian Carhart is a volunteer firefighter and paramedic with the Pikesville (MD) Volunteer Fire Company. His department serves part of the Amtrak Northeast Corridor rail line. He also works part-time as a short line railroad engineer/conductor. A railroad enthusiast, he will use the knowledge gained at the training to better prepare volunteers at his station as well as in his paid railroad position.
Derrick Hall serves as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the City of Hazard (KY) Fire & Rescue. A CSX rail yard is located less than a mile from his fire station. The department is located in the coal fields of the Appalachian Mountains, which limits the equipment and personnel they are able to bring to a scene and requires specialized training for rail line response. Hall plans to use what he learns to prepare his department and others within the region on how to respond to a rail emergency.
Scott Martin is a Fire Inspector and volunteer firefighter at the Wadesboro (NC) Fire Department. There are approximately 12 miles of CSX rail line within his fire district, including a line located 2/10 mile from many town facilities. As a certified Fire Inspector and Fire & Life Safety Educator, Martin will use information received at the training for first responder training as well as public education.
Claude Sigman is the Fire Coordinator and Deputy Emergency Manager for Kanawha County Emergency Management in Charleston, WV. CSX has a major route through his county that carries cargo, chemicals, and crude oil. Sigman will use what he learns to raise awareness and provide advance training for first response agencies in his community.
John Sullivan is a volunteer firefighter for the Pegram (TN) Fire Department and a Highway Emergency Incident Response for the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). A CSX rail line goes through the middle of their city, requiring quick response in emergency situations. Sullivan will use the knowledge he gains from the training at the fire department and at the TDOT and help share the information throughout his county.
Les Whalen is the Fire Chief at the Williamstown (KY) Volunteer Fire Department and his county’s Emergency Management Director. Five local departments are affected by the CSX line in their community. Chief Whalen plans to share the information taken from this class throughout the region, as well as at the state level through his role as a Board Member of Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association.