Heitkamp Pushes for Better First Responder Training - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Heitkamp Pushes for Better First Responder Training

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More funding and better training could be coming to first responders in communities with high train traffic in North Dakota.

Two million dollars dedicated specifically for this training has been included by the Senate Appropriations Committee in a new Senate bill. The push comes from Senator Heidi Heitkamp to increase funding to help train and support first responders as they handle new railway hazards.

"In order to continue to transport crude oil on the rails we need to give everybody a sense that we are in fact paying very close attention to the public safety components of that given the high profile accidents that we've had," says Senator Heidi Heitkamp. "One of the things I'm most concerned about and I carry that over from my days as North Dakota's Attorney General, is not only the safety on the community, but also the safety and training for first responders."

Because of the heavy reliance on rail transportation, small communities are seeing up to nine trains come through per day and the number of railcars carrying crude oil on major freight railroads in the U.S. grew by more than 6,000 percent between 2008 and 2013.
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