First responders practice for train derailment emergencies

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DAKOTA, Minn. (WXOW) – Winona County first responders prepared for locomotive derailment accidents through an extraction simulation practice on Saturday.

Safety Training and Response Strategies or S.T.A.R.S. Exercise Director Jordan Soderman travels around Mississippi River railroad communities to teach first responders how to properly handle a derailed train incident.

“We’re training for the worst-case scenario, but we always hope for the best,” Soderman said.

He used a Canadian Pacific prop locomotive to show 30 different local emergency agencies how to turn it off properly and extricate engine operators safely.

“It’s kind of difficult to get them out, but we have to be able to do it and maintain safety in the process,” St. Charles Fire and Rescue Volunteer Firefighter Jared Hutsell said. “I’ll take what I learned here and hopefully be able to take it back and teach it to my department.”

Marcus Aarsvold

Marcus Aarsvold

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