The Safety Train program developed when we realized that most emergency responders in the country were not trained to handle an incident involving railroad tank cars. Often in our local freight yards there are railroad tank cars filled with thousands of gallons of propane or chemicals with names that most people cannot even pronounce. Even though the " Safest" mode of transportation for hazardous materials is by rail, incidents do happen. The incident may involve tank cars derailed at a major derailment or just some unknown product with a strange odor leaking on a rail siding. One railroad tank car may carry as much as four trailer truckloads of hazardous materials. The first minutes at any scene, whether it's a house fire or rail incident, are often the most important. An incorrect assessment early on could ultimately cost an emergency responder's life. In most cases our local departments are inadequately prepared for a hazardous material disaster and the equipment is not available to train them.