BigNews.Biz - Dec 25,2016 - McCaskill-Backed Bipartisan Plan to Improve First Responders’ Training & Support is Signed into Law
Legislation helps provide better resources & training for first responders to improve community safety
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan plan backed by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill to improve training and support for first responders by ensuring they have the resources and tools to handle potential hazardous incidents has been signed into law.
“First responders are on the front lines of keeping our communities safe, and we have to ensure they’ve got the best tools possible to do that vital job,” said McCaskill, who was recently named the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “With Missouri at the center of the nation’s freight railroad network, and in light of the derailment of crude oil trains across the country, community safety is more important than ever, and this bill will help modernize our safety systems in the event of an accident.”
McCaskill is a backer of the bipartisan Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Act, along with Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. The legislation establishes a public-private council that combines emergency responders, federal agencies, and leading experts to review training and best practices for first responders. This council, co-chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, will provide Congress with expert recommendations on how to address first responders’ safety needs with increased railway safety challenges so they can best protect communities across the country.
McCaskill is a longtime advocate for first responders, including those who work on railway safety. Last year at a hearing on transportation safety, McCaskill, noting that Kansas City and St. Louis are the second- and third-largest freight rail hubs in the country, raised concerns she has heard from local officials and first responders in Missouri on how to improve the safety of crude oil moving by rail, and communication with first responders in the event of a derailment accident in a major metropolitan area.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov to learn more about McCaskill’s work to achieve concrete results for Missouri.