University of Illinois offers no-cost Crude Oil by Rail training to Illinois firefighters

Repost from

IFSI to Offer New Class for Crude Oil by Rail


The University of Illinois Fire Service Institute introduces a new awareness-level course on Crude Oil by Rail. The class is in response to increase crude oil rail traffic from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and Montana, as well as the 2013 train explosion disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

The class is being offered through IFSI’s Cornerstone program that provides no-cost training to Illinois firefighters at their local fire department or regional training site.

The Crude Oil by Rail Awareness class introduces students with the recent increase in crude oil shipments by rail. This course covers the basic chemical and physical properties of the types of crude being transported. In addition, students learn about basic railcar design features, unit vs. manifest trains, common railroad terminology, and techniques for contacting and working with the railroad. The course will touch on tactics and strategies for handling crude oil train derailments, but will not teach the student how to employ these tactics. Lastly, the course will look at case studies of recent crude train derailments and discuss lessons learned.

Fire departments are encouraged to contact their IFSI regional representative to learn more and to schedule a class. The regional representatives are listed on IFSI’s web site at

The Illinois Fire Service Institute is the statutory State Fire Academy for Illinois. In addition to training provided at its Champaign campus, the Institute offers one-day hands-on classes for fire departments at Regional Training Centers and local fire stations across the State. The mission of the Illinois Fire Service Institute is to help firefighters do their work through training, education, information and research.