Dow Chemical and the
Firefighters Education and Training Foundation
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) began its relationship with the Firefighters Education and Training Foundation (the Foundation) in 2006, with a shared vision and passion to build and operate a state-of-the-art hazmat safety train. The safety train – consisting of high-tech classroom cars, representative tank cars and a “protective housing” flatcar – was designed to enable delivery of best-in-class, hands-on training for local community emergency responders along chemical transportation routes. Shortly after the creation of the Safety Train, Dow joined the Operating Board of the Firefighters Education and Training Foundation to support and further promote the concept of the Foundation.
The first of these new generation training cars entered service in 2007, and were used along with other equipment from the Foundation to support training tours across California, Texas and Louisiana. Those tours stopped in 15 local communities and touched over 1,000 local emergency responders. In recognition of the training excellence demonstrated during these tours, Dow was awarded the 2007 TRANSCAER® National Achievement Award.*
The remaining cars for the Dow safety train were completed in 2008, and were used to support a 10-stop inaugural training tour from the Gulf Coast to Chicago. That tour touched over 550 local emergency responders, and concluded with a dedication ceremony in Chicago, honoring the memory of Chief John Eversole of the Chicago Fire Department. Chief Eversole was a recognized national leader in the field of hazardous materials transportation safety and security and a valued advisor to the Next Generation Rail Tank Car Project. Through that project, Dow, Union Pacific Railroad and the Union Tank Car Company charted a new course for the design of tank cars used to transport highly hazardous materials. The first of those next generation tank cars will enter service in 2011, providing a step change improvement in the safety and security of tank cars.
Since those initial tours, Dow and the Firefighters Education and Training Foundation’s hazmat safety train continues to support training tours and regional hazmat emergency response conferences across the United States on an annual basis, touching and preparing hundreds of our Nation’s first responder community.