ISFSI to Work With IAFC on Development of the ALERT Grant

IAFC to Develop Rail Safety Program Thanks to ALERT Grant

October 7, 2015

Fairfax, Va. – With support from a new $2.6 million federal grant, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) will develop a training program for first responders to effectively manage emergency events involving rail incidents.

The Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to provide hazmat training for volunteer or remote emergency responders.

Specifically, the ALERT grant program will focus on emergency response activities involving the transportation of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail.

According to Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, IAFC president and chair of the board, the goal of the ALERT grant is to provide local volunteer or remote emergency responders with additional hazmat response training opportunities.

“It’s very important that today’s first-responder training opportunities are both in-person and web-based,” Kerr said. “This blended training will result in an increase in the number of hazmat responders being trained and will provide those responders with a better understanding of the hazards they face.”

To develop the program, the IAFC is partnering with:

  • International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
  • North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD)
  • National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
  • National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)
  • International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI)
  • Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

PHMSA estimates that 25,000 first responders will benefit from the ALERT grant over the next two years. Training-program details are currently being developed and will be available on

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