New Martinsville Assistant Fire Chief Cris Jenkins was selected by CSX Corporation for their Hazardous Materials, Sentinel Training at the Transportation Technology Center, Security & Emergency Response Training Center (TTCI/SERTC) located 25 miles northeast of Pueblo, Colo., June 1-7.
The Transportation Technology Center is a world-class intermodal research and test center offering a wide range of capabilities for research, development, evaluation, and testing of transportation equipment, and hazardous material training for government and private sectors. Isolated and secured, this 52-square-mile federally owned facility is, and has been since 1982, under a care, custody, and control agreement between the Federal Railroad Administration and the Association of American Railroads.
CSX Transportation covered the cost of all meals, transportation, and housing.
The emergency response training center has over 70 railcars, tank trucks, intermodal tanks, and highway equipment, used in simulated derailments, truck rollovers, and other emergency scenarios. Six modern, well-equipped classrooms in a 7,300 square-foot training center complement the extensive outdoor training grounds.
Assistant Fire Chief Jenkins is a Certified Fire Service Instructor for both the WVU Fire Service Extension and Regional Educational Services Agency (RESA) with several years of service with NMVFD and was instrumental in making NMVFD's response to CSX's derailment of several hazardous materials cars in Proctor, a very successful one. As a result of his actions, and others on the call, there were no injuries in the incident, no evacuations were required, and the incident was handled with great efficiency and professionalism.
NMVFD Fire Chief Larry Couch said when the offer for this class was made by CSX, all personnel who responded that morning were asked if they would be able to attend the program if it were offered. CSX only usually only offers this opportunity to one local responder, but they were so pleased with the handling of the incident that they made an exception and offered the NMVFD two positions, but only Assistant Chief Jenkins was able to break away for the program, a once in a lifetime experience. "The public needs to see that Cris and dozens of others in our department are willing to use enormous personal time to volunteer to serve them, they don't get a single penny for their efforts, but they are always there in an emergency, when they can be, and always working to hone their skills," said Couch.