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.

Robert Wood

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. 

In October 2017, Paul was awarded the Holden-Proefrock Award recognizing his lifetime contributions to the field of hazardous materials safety by rail.

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 36 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.

Scott Gould

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Allentown, 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. Scott is one of the lead instructors for NS’ annual advanced tank car class at the Security Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colo.

James M. Bryan III

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Chattanooga, Tenn.

James Bryan has 27 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 covering the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Western Georgia, and Southwestern Tennessee.

Prior to NS, Glen served as one of the General Managers at the Security and Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colorado. Has worked as a private consultant and retired as a Hazardous Materials Response Officer for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Glen has nearly 42 years of experience in public safety. He spent 12 years as a career firefighter/hazardous materials specialist for the City of Alexandria Fire Department, as well as a former volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician, and officer. As a subcontractor, he has served as a consultant and assisted in 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 (IAFC) Hazardous Materials Committee, member of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), and former Co-Chairman of the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition. He has served a member of the FEMA NAC RESPONSE Subcommittee

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 16-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
St. Louis, Mo.

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.

Brian Shanks

Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer
Elkhart, Ind.

Brian Shanks began his NS Career in the Mechanical Department in 2010. In 2019, Brian became a Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer bringing with him almost 10 years of Mechanical Department experience.

Brian began his career in the Car Department as a Management Trainee and worked his way to Senior General Foreman. He has worked in Decatur, IL; St. Louis, MO; Kansas City, MO; and Chicago, IL.

Prior to NS, Brian received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009.

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.