The Norfolk Southern team provides a menu of emergency response training options. If you are an emergency responder (including: fire department, law enforcement, emergency medical services, hazmat response team, emergency management personnel, military, homeland security personnel, shippers, and customers) and are interested in training, please contact us at  to provide you options in your community. Please review our training options below. All of the training options provided by Norfolk Southern are free to attendees.

In 2015, Norfolk Southern teamed with industry partner DuPont on 25 multiday training sessions using a DuPont training tank car. The tank car, moved to training locations by Norfolk Southern, offered emergency responders hands-on training with the type of car the industry uses to transport hazardous material, including lessons on tank car safety features.

In April 2016 Norfolk Southern put a dedicated safety train in service with a locomotive, 2 box car classrooms, 4 tank cars, and 2 specially equipped flat cars to provide hands-on training in place of the DuPont car

The training sessions include the following topics:

  • Safety on Railroad Property
  • Rail Shipping Documents
  • Rail Equipment Identification
  • Rail Tank Cars
  • Locomotive Fires
  • Flammable Liquid Unit Trains
  • Incident Response Procedures
  • Working with Railroad Officials
  • AskRail Mobile App

2017 NS HazMat Safety Train Dates

March 21-23 Hagerstown, MD Download Invitation 
April 7-9 Cresson, PA Download Invitation 
April 18-20 Newark, DE Download Invitation 
May 2-4 King of Prussia, PA Download Invitation 
May 16-18 Linden, NJ Download Invitation 
May 23-25 Allentown, PA  Download Invitation 
June 6-8 Binghamton, NY Download Invitation
June 15-17 Canton, OH Download Invitation 
June 27-29 South Bend, IN Download Invitation
July 11-13 Columbus, OH Download Invitation
July 25-27 Louisville, KY Download Invitation
Aug. 8-10 Asheville, NC Download Invitation
Aug. 15-17 Roanoke, VA Download Invitation
Aug. 23-25 Bristol, VA Download Invitation 
Sept. 12-14 Huntsville, AL Download Invitation
Sept. 19-21 Birmingham, AL Download Invitation 
Sept. 26-28 Slidell, LA Download Invitation
Oct. 10-12 Tuscaloosa, AL Download Invitation
Oct. 17-19 Macon, GA Download Invitation
Oct. 31 - Nov. 2 Savannah, GA Download Invitation
Nov. 7-9 Greenville, SC Download Invitation
Nov. 14-16 Charleston, SC Download Invitation
Nov. 28-30 Greensboro, NC Download Invitation

David Schoendorfer

System Manager Hazardous Materials
Atlanta, Ga.

David Schoendorfer is a certified hazardous materials manager and has 26 years of experience in hazardous materials transportation. In his current role as system manager hazardous materials, David oversees all aspects of NS' hazardous materials compliance, risk management, safety training, and emergency preparedness and response across NS’ 22-state system.

David began his NS career in 1985 in the Transportation Department, where he held several positions, including assistant trainmaster, supervisor system planning, and chief dispatcher. Prior to joining NS, David served as an artillery officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

David serves as chairman of the AAR Hazardous Materials Working Group and chairman of the AAR AskRail Task Force. He also is a member of the AAR Spent Nuclear Fuel Task Force, AAR Tank Car Committee, and the National TRANSCAER Committee.

David is a 1980 graduate of Georgia Institute Technology and holds a degree in civil engineering. He graduated with his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985.

Robert Wood

Assistant System Manager Hazardous Materials
Atlanta, Ga.

As NS’ assistant system manager hazardous materials, Robert Wood works closely with the system manager to oversee all aspects of NS' hazardous materials compliance, special system projects, training, and emergency preparedness and response across the NS network. Robert manages risk and liabilities associated with the transport of hazardous materials by rail, ensuring that the company maintains compliance with FRA and DOT regulations.

Robert has more than 30 years of experience in emergency response. Prior to NS, he spent 25 years with the Birmingham Fire & Rescue Hazardous Materials Team, and 14 years as an emergency response and environmental remediation contractor for the rail industry. Robert joined the NS team in 2012 as hazardous materials compliance officer.

Robert is the regional coordinator for the national Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER) Region 2 program that helps communities prepare for and safely respond to incidents involving transport of hazardous material.

Paul Williams

Regional Manager Hazardous Materials
Roanoke, Va.

Paul Williams has 34 years of experience in the railroad hazardous materials field. In his current role as regional manager hazardous materials, Paul manages NS’ emergency preparedness and response, community training programs, regulatory support, DOT compliance audits, and product releases across NS’ Southern Region.

Paul played an integral role in the development of the OAR safety train program to educate first responders about the safe movement of hazmat by rail. Paul is an active participant in the AskRail Task Force, providing valuable input in the development of the AskRail mobile app that provides real-time information to first responders.

Paul currently represents NS on the AAR Tank Car Committee, previously serving as chairman of the committee. Paul was former chairman of the American Chemistry Council’s TRANSCAER National Steering Committee and former president of the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council.

Before he began his NS career in 2003, Paul held positions with the AAR, Bureau of Explosives in Washington, D.C., and the Transportation Technology Center’s Security Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colo.

R. Scott Deutsch

Regional Manager Hazardous Materials
Pittsburgh, Pa.

As NS’ regional manager of hazardous materials, Scott Deutsch is responsible for all aspects of hazardous materials compliance, emergency responder training, emergency preparedness and response, and environmental cleanup and remediation activities across NS’ Northern Region.

Scott joined NS in 2015 from Allegheny County Emergency Service, where he served as assistant chief operations and training. While there, he managed the emergency response program, Fire Training Academy staff and facilities, and hazmat drill coordination.

Scott worked in the chemical industry for 22 years, holding various positions in management and environmental health, safety, and security. He has 34 years of experience in the public safety field responding to fire, rescue, hazardous material, and industrial emergencies.

Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Point Park University.

John E. Lerner

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Elkhart, Ind.

John Lerner has more than 35 years of experience in hazardous materials response and training. He joined the NS team after retiring from a 25-year career as a police officer in 2005.

John is responsible for all aspects of hazardous materials compliance, training, and emergency readiness and response across NS’ Dearborn and Lake divisions. Additionally, he is the lead instructor for NS’ annual advanced tank car class at the Security Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colo.

John is a member of his Local Emergency Planning Committee and served as chairman for 10 years. He previously served on the board of directors for the Cleveland Township Fire Department.

John studied criminal justice and business management at Ball State University and earned his Indiana State Instructor Certification from the University of Notre Dame.

Scott Gould

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Harrisburg, Pa.

Scott Gould joined the NS team in October 2015 as the hazardous materials compliance officer for the Harrisburg Division. Scott is responsible for hazmat regulatory compliance, training, and emergency response within his territory.

Prior to NS, Scott worked for a private contractor for more than 15 years, responding to rail, highway, and industrial incidents. Scott started out as a technician, became a supervisor, and eventually a project manager who enforced safety techniques at all times. Over the years, he worked on high-profile rail incidents and managed various projects related to site remediation and industrial maintenance.

Scott participates in the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER) program in Pennsylvania as an event coordinator and trainer.

James M. Bryan III

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Chattanooga, Tenn.

James Bryan has 26 years of experience and hundreds of hours of specialized training in emergency response. James has responded as an industrial firefighter, hazardous materials specialist, and on-scene coordinator to more than 2,300 emergency events involving fires, natural disasters, and spills and explosions in all modes of transportation.

In one of his many duties as NS’ hazardous materials compliance officer, James travels the NS network to train first responders and help communities prepare for and safely respond to potential incidents involving transport of hazardous materials.

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, James served as a firefighter and medic, hazardous materials specialist, and explosive ordinance disposal technician. James holds certifications from the Department of Defense, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bureau of Explosives, National Fire Academy, Community College of the Air Force, University of Texas, Louisiana State University, Lamar University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A & M, Illinois Fire Service Institute, Centers for Disease Control, Association of American Railroads, and Chlorine Institute in Washington, D.C.

Glen Rudner

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Birmingham, Ala.

Glen Rudner is the hazardous materials compliance officer for NS’ Alabama Division, which includes Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and southwestern Tennessee.

Prior to NS, Glen served as a general manager at the Security and Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colo. He has worked as a private consultant and retired as a hazardous materials response officer for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Glen has nearly 40 years of experience in public safety. He spent 12 years as a career firefighter and hazardous materials specialist for the city of Alexandria Fire Department, as well as a former volunteer emergency medical technician, firefighter, and officer. As a subcontractor, he has served as a consultant and assisted in the development of many training programs for local, state, and federal agencies.

Glen serves as secretary for the National Fire Protection Association Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials Response. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Hazardous Materials Committee; member of the American Society of Testing and Materials; and former co-chairman of the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition.

Justin Hahn

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Charlotte, N.C.

Justin Hahn joined Norfolk Southern in July 2016 as hazardous materials compliance officer for the Piedmont Division, which includes North Carolina and South Carolina. Justin manages all aspects of regulatory compliance, safety training, and emergency response within this territory.

Prior to NS, Justin retired from a 15-year career in fire services as a hazmat engine captain. He remains a certified firefighter and hazmat specialist. He also spent 14 years as a private contractor in the hazardous materials and environmental remediation fields, where he served as an instructor for a number of firefighting and hazardous materials programs.

Justin obtained his bachelor’s degree in environmental management and an associate degree in occupational safety and health from Columbia Southern University in 2013.

Cristofer Burch

Hazardous Material Compliance Officer
Decatur, Ill.

Cristofer Burch began his NS career as hazardous materials compliance officer for the Illinois Division in late 2016, bringing with him 25 years of experience in emergency services.

Cris is a member of the Cahokia Fire Department, where he has advanced from former roles as lieutenant and training officer to his current position as lead training officer. He also has worked in the emergency medical services field, fire equipment sales, and as a staff member at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute. Cris currently is working toward a bachelor’s degree in emergency management from Kaplan University.

Prior to NS, Cris served as manager industrial and public safety for Alton & Southern Railway since 2013, and conductor since 2008.

January 6 Paulding, OH Table-Top
January 25 Warrenton, MO Table-Top
April 5 Manassas, VA Table-Top
May 9 Aspinwall, PA Table-Top
May 10 Rome, GA Table-Top
May 10 Pittsburgh, PA Table-Top
May 23 Portsmouth, OH Full-Scale
August 11 Asheville, NC Full-Scale
October 17-19 Meridian, MS Table-Top
October 18 Scholarie County, NY Table-Top
November 27 Tallapoosa County, AL Table-Top
December 1 Greensboro, NC Full-Scale
December 14 Rowan County, NC Table-Top
December 15 Huntsville, AL Table-Top

To register on-line for training go to:

Each year Norfolk Southern sponsors an Advance Tank Car Emergency Response Course at the Association of American Railroad’s Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) in Pueblo, Co.

For more info on the training opportunities available at SERTC click the following link:

As part of a voluntary industry initiative, Norfolk Southern is helping to train local emergency responders in how to safely respond to potential incidents involving trains moving crude oil.

Norfolk Southern and other large railroads are sponsoring classroom and hands-on training at the Association of American Railroad’s Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) in Pueblo, Co. The railroads in early 2014 committed $5 million to the initiative, including developing a three-day training course and paying for
1,500 first responders to attend.

In 2014, Norfolk Southern invested $126,000 to enhance training at the AAR’s training center. The company also provided $378,000 to cover the costs of travel and training for 126 first responders from 11 states, primarily along the company’s crude oil transport corridors. Those participants included fire chiefs, paramedics, homeland security officials, hazardous materials officers, and others from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, and Kentucky.

Employees in Norfolk Southern’s hazardous materials and environmental operations assisted with training. Attendees learned about the different types of crude oil moved by rail; basic site and damage assessment at a derailment; tank car design and construction; planning for crude oil incidents; and working with the railroad. A simulated derailment of 20 tanker cars offered hands-on training.

In 2015, Norfolk Southern sponsored training for 80 additional emergency responders and has committed to provide training for 40 more emergency responders in May 2016.

Free Web-Based Crude by Rail Training for Emergency Responders. The Association of American Railroads, in cooperation with the seven major railroads, BNSF, CN, CP, CSX, KCS, NS, and UP are now offering, at no charge to emergency responders, Crude by Rail Web Based Training.

This program, developed by TTCI-SERTC, is designed for and gives the emergency responder the basic knowledge to respond to incidents involving CBR. The web-based training is designed for your convenience. You decide when and where to start your training. Instructors teach this program in a format that is easy for you to understand, and it gives you the foundational information needed to make basic protective decisions in the event an incident happens in your jurisdiction

  • The program covers:
  • History of crude oil
  • Planning and working with the railroads
  • Basic tank car recognition and design
  • Chemical, physical, and toxic properties of the different crude oil transported
  • Basic site and damage assessment
  • Tactical product control methods, including the application of firefighting foam agents, water and spill control procedures

Just click to get free access to the program

AWR-147 Rail Car Incident Response Course – Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium

This eight-hour awareness-level course is designed to increase the knowledge of first responders in recognizing and characterizing the different types of rail cars, potential leaks, and courses of action to be taken based on initial site assessment. The course will increase participants' knowledge of safety and hazardous conditions that may exist at the scene, and will allow them to become familiar with safe practices adopted by the railroad industry.  This course has been developed by The University of Findlay and is delivered in an instructor-led format.

FRA Locomotive Emergency Response Operations Video

This Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) video describes rescue operations for train crews from locomotives involved in crashes or derailments.  Includes information regarding approaching the site of a locomotive emergency, entering the locomotive, and flagging oncoming trains, as well as a listing of railroad emergency contact and local FRA Regional Office telephone numbers.

Watch the video on YouTube.

Transportation Rail Incident Preparedness and Response (TRIPR) -  PHMSA Training Program

The Transportation Rail Incident Preparedness and Response, Flammable Liquid Unit Trains resource materials were developed to provide critical information on best practices related to rail incidents involving hazard class 3 flammable liquids, such as crude oil and ethanol.  A key component of this initiative is to learn from past experiences and to leverage the expertise of public safety agencies, rail carriers, and industry subject matter experts in order to prepare first responders to safely manage incidents involving flammable liquid unit trains.

These training resources offer a flexible approach to training the first responders and emergency services personnel in pre-incident planning and response. Each module contains a PowerPoint presentation, Student Workbook, and Instructor Lesson Plan. In addition to these materials, there are three interactive scenarios with animation and introduction videos to help instructors lead tabletop discussions. Click on the link below to download the TRIPR materials.

TRIPR Fact Sheet (PDF)

TRIPR Resources

AAR-API Crude Oil Training

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the member companies of both organizations have worked to create a safety awareness course for first responders. The course is meant to provide some of the information first responders need to know before approaching an incident involving crude oil moved by rail. While crude oil is a flammable liquid and should be treated as such during a response, the growth in crude oil by rail has raised concerns about how first responders can be better prepared if an incident occurs. This program seeks to assist in preparation by describing the characteristics of crude oil and the rail cars it is shipped in, the RECEOS strategies that should be considered if crude oil is present, spill response and firefighting considerations, and the need for structured incident management.  This course has been designed for first responders with basic fighting training and is offered free of charge.

Chlorine Safety Training Tour

There are many resources available for chlorine emergency response training. Presentation topics include: chlorine properties and emergency response; chlorine tank cars and rail safety; and the proper use of Emergency Kits A, B and C to mitigate leaks from chlorine cylinders, ton containers and tank car valves.

Click here learn about the Chlorine Safety Training Tour.

Anhydrous Ammonia Training Tour

With Anhydrous Ammonia being a large part of American agricultural, manufacturing, commercial, and transportation industries and incidents occurring in the past across the United States, there is a possibility that at some point a large ammonia incident may occur. TRANSCAER® has created a high-quality training program that will help prevent and or mitigate such an incident for emergency responders in communities where anhydrous ammonia is manufactured, stored, shipped, transported, or used in high volume quantities. All the materials were developed by our team of seasoned experts from across various industries.

Click here to learn about the Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Training Tour.

Ethanol Training

To enhance the knowledge, capability and readiness of operational emergency response agencies to effectively respond to fires, spills and other emergencies involving ethanol and ethanol blended fuels, the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition has developed educational materials, training programs and other products for emergency responders that will improve their knowledge of and ability to respond to emergencies involving ethanol and ethanol blended fuels, and allow them to make informed decisions regarding capability based on community risk and other factors.

Click here to learn about the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition resources.

Flammable Liquids Transported By Rail

The Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) in partnership with the Center for Rural Development (CRD) have released “Introduction to Flammable Liquids Training”. This is a Web Based Training program that is available at no charge to emergency responders. This Web Based Training program is designed to assist volunteer and rural emergency responders with the understanding of, preparing for, and appropriate response to incidents involving flammable liquids including crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable liquids that travel by rail through their communities. This self-paced program is designed to build a strong foundation for the emergency responder.

The program, developed by SERTC, is designed to be a self-paced program where the participant can start and stop as needed throughout the 4 hour program. A base evaluation starts the program and ends with a final evaluation to allow the participant to gauge what has been learned. Upon successful completion, the participant will receive a certificate of completion.

Click here to participate in the Introduction to Flammable Liquids Training course.

PHMSA First Responder LNG Safety Video

There are over 300,000 miles of transmission lines carrying Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) across the United States, and over 1.8 million miles of local distribution lines. LNG supply and demand are both increasing, and the rate at which it is shipped into the country is also increasing.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has produced an LNG training video specifically for fire marshals, fire chiefs, government officials and other personnel who may have a part in the planning and response to LNG incidents.

The 30-minute video is very comprehensive, covering:

  • Physical properties of LNG as a cryogenic liquid and a flammable gas;
  • Methods of transportation including marine tankers and trucks;
  • Different types of pipelines and their use;
  • Compression stations, placed every 100 miles of transmission lines;
  • “Peak shaving” and other types of LNG storage facilities;
  • The types of safety plans and mechanisms in place at all of the above.

The video discusses common accidents or incidents one can expect when LNG is involved, and also does a good job at describing the types of major accidents that have not happened but are possible.  Rail shipments of LNG are expected to increase in intermodal containers and at some point tank cars if approved by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Click here to learn more about LNG.

The TRANSCAER® Program

Norfolk Southern works hard to ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials by rail. A key part of that effort is voluntary participation in the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response program, known as TRANSCAER®. At TRANSCAER®-related events in 2015, Norfolk Southern employees provided training for more than 4,792 emergency responders in 18 states to help communities across our network prepare for and safely respond to potential incidents involving rail transport of hazardous materials. Local first responders and government officials participated in classroom and hands-on training, table top simulations, and full-scale drills.

Achievement Award

From left to right: David Schoendorfer, Paul Williams, Robert Wood, Richard Russell accept the Norfolk Southern National TRANSCAER® Achievement Award at the dedication of the new NS-9-1-1 at Union Station in Washington, DC

For the 15th time and 13th consecutive year in 2014, Norfolk Southern earned a National TRANSCAER® Achievement Award. The award recognizes exceptional achievement in support of voluntary efforts by companies and others to help communities prepare for and safely respond to incidents involving transport of hazardous materials.

Norfolk Southern hazmat safety train recognized by Safe America Foundation

For its leadership in developing the safety train, Norfolk Southern has received a WorldSafe Award from the Safe America Foundation. The nonprofit, headquartered in Marietta, Ga., partners with corporate, government, and other nonprofits to improve public safety awareness and preparedness.

Safe America described the Travel Safety Award presented to NS as one of its most prestigious WorldSafe awards. NS was one of 14 companies, individuals, and organizations recognized by Safe America during a November 2016 banquet in Atlanta for their contributions to health and safety in the U.S. and globally. In addition to the safety train, NS was cited for its role in creating the AskRail mobile app, an industry safety tool that provides emergency responders immediate access to accurate, timely information about what type of hazmat a rail car is carrying.