South Georgia first responders get railroad Haz-Mat training - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia first responders get railroad Haz-Mat training

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

First responders from several South Georgia counties learned how to respond to a rail car crash Thursday.

Freight trains come through South Georgia every day.

Often they carry hazardous materials.

31-firefighters from Dougherty,Sumter, Lee, Grady,  Crisp, Worth, and Thomas Counties attended a day long class in how to respond to an accident.

The Association of American Railroads says 99.6% of hazardous materials traveling by rail arrive safely, but first responders must know how to handle a rare disaster.

"The thing is we just never know," said Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium trainer Jeff Hilty. "None of us are immune from this situation. It really is something that we have to be ready for. And this program tries to bring this training to local responders who might otherwise not have that available to them."

Hilty said only 9-percent of rail freight is hazardous.

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