Lawrence County hosts Amtrak training session - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Lawrence County hosts Amtrak training session

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -

First responders from several Region 8 counties gathered at the Lawrence County Public Library for an Amtrak training session focusing on passenger car extractions.

This comes one year after a deadly crash in Hoxie between 2 freight trains.

The accident claimed 2 lives and forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

Lawrence County OEM Coordinator Buddy Williams said they have experience in dealing with freight train accidents but passenger trains are new territory for them.

“It gives an opportunity for the responders to have some kind of an idea of extracting from a passenger car train,” Williams said.

Williams said an Amtrak train runs through the county and this training session will help keep first responders on the same page with Amtrak.

“It gives the responders an overview of how Amtrak likes to handle these types of incidents,” Williams said. “When you evacuate, when you don't evacuate, the types of cars they have and it familiarizes most of our responders and fire departments with the equipment they're going to be dealing with.”

Williams said the training is critical.

“Not only are we going to be dealing with small incidents,” Williams said. “It goes all the way into mass casualty incidents in which we would involve the state agencies as well.”

Williams said in the event an accident happened, the county responders would not be the only ones to respond.

He said several of the fire departments have mutual aid that allows other cities to assist.

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