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Hands-on training program will target emergency response to anhydrous ammonia incidents

TRANSCAER® is launching a nationwide Anhydrous Ammonia Training Tour, to educate and train officials in 27 states across the country on emergency response to anhydrous ammonia incidents.

TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a voluntary, nationwide outreach effort that helps communities prepare for and respond to hazardous material transportation incidents.

Ammonia, along with other potentially hazardous materials, is used in a variety of beneficial applications – anhydrous ammonia is rich in nitrogen and is the primary component of fertilizer. Because anhydrous ammonia is classified as a hazardous substance, and used and stored under high pressure, those who work with anhydrous ammonia must be properly trained on specific handling procedures.

“Effective emergency response begins with planning and preparation,” said Rollie Shook, Chair of the National TRANSCAER Task Group and Leader of Emergency Services and Security for Dow Chemical Co. “Since anhydrous ammonia plays a large part in the agricultural, manufacturing, industrial, commercial and transportation industries, emergency responders need the appropriate knowledge and skills to ensure protection of public health and the environment in the case of an accidental release incident.”

“The Fertilizer Institute is pleased to play a role in the development of this valuable training program for emergency responders,” said Ford West, President of The Fertilizer Institute. “Anhydrous ammonia plays a key role in U.S. food production, and this national initiative provides an excellent venue for amplifying our industry’s messages about the principles of safe ammonia handling and transportation.”

The Training Tour will focus on a number of safety training topics, including sessions on ammonia properties, what steps need to be taken to ensure ammonia is transported safety, hands-on training on how to use transport equipment properly, and information on emergency response necessary in case of an ammonia release.

The properties training segment will cover both the physical and chemical properties of anhydrous ammonia, as well as basic health effects and initial first aid for treating exposures. Understanding how and why anhydrous ammonia is used and relating the properties of the chemical to real-life response issues will be covered.

Another segment of the training program will cover types of ammonia releases that could occur. Topics in this training block will address indoor and outdoor release scenarios, defensive and offensive approaches to ammonia release incidences, flammability concerns, where and when to use water in dealing with an ammonia release, and control/containment measures.

The target audience for the tour events includes emergency responders, agricultural businesses, ammonia industry personnel, emergency management officials, public safety representatives, law enforcement agencies and others involved in the transportation of anhydrous ammonia.

The first stop on the Anhydrous Ammonia Training Tour is this month in Stockton, Calif., and in the following weeks trainings will take place in five other cities throughout the state. Focusing on regions of the country where use of anhydrous ammonia in agriculture applications is prevalent, the tour will stop at states in the Western and Southern sections of the U.S.

A listing of cities and states where the tour is taking place is available here: More locations will be added throughout the year.

TRANSCAER is sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, the Association of American Railroads, CHEMTREC®, The Chlorine Institute, Inc., The Fertilizer Institute, National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc., the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Association of Chemical Distributors. For more information on TRANSCAER, visit
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