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Rail Safety

In coordination with the rail industry, API created a safety awareness course for first responders. The course, which is offered through TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) and can be reviewed online or presented in person by a TRANSCAER® approved instructor, is meant to provide information first responders need to know before approaching an incident involving crude 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. The TRANSCAER® Crude by Rail Safety Course seeks to assist in preparation by describing the characteristics of crude oil and the rail cars in which is it shipped. It also provides the Rescue, Exposures, Confinement, Extinguishment, Overhaul and Salvage (RECEOS) strategies if crude oil is present, firefighting and spill response considerations, and guidelines for structured incident management. This course has been designed for first responders with basic fire-fighting training and is offered free of charge. The TRANSCAER® website provides a calendar list of course offerings. Learn more about the safety course here.

In 2014, API published Recommended Practice (RP) 3000 for testing, transport classification, and measurement of crude oil loaded into rail tank cars. The development of standards is a major part of API's ongoing work to enhance safety throughout the oil and gas industry, and RP 3000 provides guidance on many important aspects of preparing to ship crude oil by rail. Find additional information about RP 3000 here.