NewsAndEvents2015
News & Events

 LC and TDEM convene train derailment safety exercise


Tabletop exercise

 

Laredo College and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) hosted a train derailment roundtable exercise at the LC Ft. McIntosh Campus in downtown Laredo on Wednesday, March 4.

 

Our institution takes to heart the obligation we have to keep our students, employees and visitors safe at all times while they are on our premises. Their safety and well-being are top priorities for our Board of Trustees and college administrators.

 

 “At Laredo College we understand that safety is paramount,” Senior Director of Strategic and External Initiatives Michael Gonzalez said. “We also understand that true public safety requires collaboration, which is why we felt that hosting this event on our campus was so important.”

 

Our steadfast commitment to keeping our campuses safe is also reflected in our multiple active partnerships with local, regional and federal law enforcement and emergency response entities. We always strive to ensure our staff is prepared and properly trained to respond to an emergency or disaster.

 

Due to the close proximity of the train infrastructure to our downtown campus, we are keenly aware of possible train-related emergencies.

 

TDEM coordinates the state emergency management program, which is intended to ensure the state and its local governments respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, and implement plans and programs to help prevent or lessen the impact of emergencies and disasters.

 

Local, state and federal organizations that participated in the tabletop exercise along with the LC Police Department and college safety and security staff included the Laredo Fire Department, Laredo Health Department, American Red Cross, Laredo Independent School District, Union-Pacific Railroad, National Weather Service, Transportation Security Administration, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office and others.

 

The group was presented with a scenario of a collision involving a commercial truck carrying butane. This caused a set of explosions that released hazardous materials into the atmosphere. The explosion also triggered the derailment of several rail cars.

 

The exercise touched on how first responders contained the incident, how the information was disseminated to inform the public, the evacuation of nearby neighborhoods and how the whole community worked together to manage the incident.

  

Laredo College will continue to work tirelessly with the help of our community to expand our emergency preparedness resources and increase awareness of these incidents in our community.