Posts Tagged ‘training classes’

Member input leads to access to life-saving emergency training

When an accident occurs and one of our members is on site — be it a bus operator or rail conductor — it often falls on that SMART Transportation Division member to provide assistance as the FIRST responder to the situation.

The member must assess and relay information about the incident to rescue crews and law enforcement personnel who are dispatched and, if able, provide potentially life-saving aid and comfort to any victims.

When dealing with accidents involving buses or trains, victims often have traumatic injuries as a result. These incidents are not going away, especially with all the distractions posed by smartphones or a reduction of situational awareness due to headphones or earbuds to members of the public who go near roadways or the rails.

In 2017 and 2018, there were more than 1,000 trespasser-related casualties (injuries and deaths), according to Federal Railroad Administration data. Through the third quarter of 2019, there have been nearly 900 casualties reported.

Grade-crossing accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians reported to FRA occurred at a rate of more than 2,000 annually each year from 2016 through 2018. Through the third quarter of 2019, FRA reports more than 1,600 of these incidents.

But it’s not just the lives of trespassers and drivers who encounter a grade crossing potentially in danger from an unexpected emergency.

Having two people in the locomotive cab of a freight train leaves just one person left to assist the other should they be in need of help. Train crew members can have a medical event while performing service. Bus and rail passengers also can have such an event due to an accident or a violent incident that occurs in the presence of our members. And let’s not forget that a medical emergency can happen anytime and anywhere to anyone at home or out in public.

Preparation and training in these situations are invaluable.

With this in mind, member David Herrmann of Local 446 (Cheyenne, Wyo.), a Union Pacific conductor since 1990, wrote to the SMART-TD President’s Office with a suggestion:

“One of the conductor’s responsibilities is to walk back after a train hits a car on a crossing,” he wrote. “Since 1988, I have been CPR qualified. I think it would be a good idea for every conductor to be CPR qualified to be a first responder, just in case.

“Even if the tracks are right near the highway, which in Wyoming they are not, a response team could take a long time to get there.”

The suggestion from Brother Herrmann to learn CPR and first aid, a sensible and potentially life-saving one, applies to all members regardless of where they work.

Just ask Thomas E. Baker, a conductor for Veolia/Tri-Rail and a member of Local 33 (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), who put his knowledge of CPR and first aid into action during an incident February 15, 2014.

SMART Transportation Division conductor Thomas E. Baker, second from right, is presented a crystal “distinguished service award” by South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Commissioner Steven L. Abrams, far right, for his life-saving action in performing CPR on a passenger in distress in February 2014.

On that day, he saw a woman collapse and fall down a stairwell onto a station platform in south Florida. With a background in the military and law enforcement, Baker was equipped with the knowledge and training needed to save the 65-year-old woman’s life.

“It was something that came natural to me,” he said. “I knew that she was in major trouble.”

He rushed down to the platform and performed CPR for 15 to 20 minutes before emergency responders arrived. The defibrillator on the train was not functional, but his exhaustive efforts saved a life. The woman survived.

Baker said his carrier now requires employees to be certified every two years in CPR, but that is not the case for all carriers, and he reminds his fellow members that the knowledge from taking a CPR/emergency first aid course is useful always and everywhere.

“You don’t bring just a hammer to a jobsite. The more tools you have in the toolbag, the more useful you are,” Baker said. “The more we know, the better off we are — it could be one of your co-workers whose life you save.

“It’s something I’ve always embraced.”

SMART-TD recognizes this as well. Within days of receiving conductor Hermann’s suggestion, Ralph Leichliter, an administrative assistant in the TD President’s Office, had reached out to Emergency University, which provides online training geared towards transportation employees, including courses on CPR, first aid, and additional training on the topics of blood-borne pathogens, heat-related illness and sleep and fatigue management.

Emergency University was established by highly trained emergency response professionals to educate people on life-saving measures in situations where immediate action is needed.

Multiple online course options are available through them, starting as low as $29.95. Choose the course you’d like and then enter the promotional code SMARTUNION at checkout. Successful completion of the online courses provides national certification for two years in CPR and first aid, meeting and exceeding the standards set forth by OSHA, the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

The descriptions for discounted packages, including the course package for rail/transportation workers, are available below:

By going through the Emergency University online training or taking part in CPR or first-aid training offered by organizations such as the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, we can continue to prove every day, without a doubt, that the public, our co-workers and America’s roads and rails are safer with SMART-TD members aboard.

UPDATED: Two TD Connect workshops remain open for 2019

Because of great demand, a new round of workshops has been added to help local treasurers learn how to use TD Connect, the new eBilling system that also manages member records. A series of five prior workshops scheduled for late 2018 filled to capacity. A second round was added, and one workshop already has been filled. Follow the links below to register.

Workshops are scheduled for:

  • January 7, 8 & 9, 2019 – Kansas City, Mo. at the Drury Inn and Suites, 7900 Northwest Tiffany Springs, Kansas City, MO 64153. WORKSHOP FILLED — waitlist available. Treasurers are encouraged to register for one of the two other workshops listed below.
  • January 28, 29, & 30, 2019 – Minneapolis, Minn. at the Minneapolis United Labor Center, 312 Central Ave. S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55414. Registration deadline is Jan. 21.
  • February 11, 12 & 13, 2019 – Salt Lake City, Utah at the Double Tree by Hilton Salt Lake City Airport, 5151 Wiley Post Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84116. The workshop will be in the Bryce Room. Registration deadline is Feb. 4, 2019.

A flier is available with additional information about hotel rates and the workshops (PDF).

Attendees also are asked to complete the online TD Connect Overview workshop before the first day.

Workshops will run 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. all three days and will educate local treasurers about the new TD Connect eBill system along with the newest version of WinStabs. Additional topics may include: maintaining payroll deductions, making proper disbursements, budgeting, record keeping, paying taxes and filing reports with authorities.

Attendance for each workshop is limited and spaces will be filled on a first-come basis. A waitlist will be made available for those interested in attending a workshop once one has been filled. Contact Alyssa Patchin at the TD offices to be placed on the list.

The sessions will include all training and materials at no cost to the local. However, the local is responsible for all other costs associated with the treasurer’s attendance at the workshop. Lost time or salary, travel, hotel and meal expenses connected with attendance may be reimbursed if pre-approved by the membership at the local meeting as an allowable expense of the local.

For more information or to be placed on a workshop waitlist, call Alyssa Patchin at the TD offices or email apatchin@smart-union.org.

UPDATED: Workshops planned for treasurers to learn new TD Connect system

Local treasurers will have a chance to learn how to use the new TD Connect system to manage member records and to work the new eBill before the system’s Jan. 1, 2019, rollout at a series of workshops planned this fall.

Workshops are scheduled:

  • Oct. 8, 9 & 10, 2018 – New Haven, Conn.
  • Nov. 5, 6 & 7, 2018 – Kansas City, Mo.
  • Nov. 7, 8 & 9, 2018 – Kansas City, Mo. (second session added!)
  • Nov. 12, 13 & 14, 2018 – Birmingham, Ala.
  • Nov. 27, 28 & 29, 2018 – Rosemead, Calif.

Workshops will run 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. all three days, and additional location-specific details will be provided once available.

The three-day sessions will prepare local treasurers for the launch of the new TD Connect and eBill system along with the newest version of WinStabs. Additional topics may include: maintaining payroll deductions, making proper disbursements, budgeting, record keeping, paying taxes and filing reports with authorities.

Attendance is limited to 30 registrants and spaces will be filled on a first-come basis.

The sessions will include all training and materials at no cost to the local. However, the local is responsible for all other costs associated with the treasurer’s attendance at the workshop. Lost time or salary, travel, hotel and meal expenses connected with attendance may be reimbursed if pre-approved by the membership at the local meeting as an allowable expense of the local.

Help us plan accordingly and complete the workshop interest form to be among the first notified with location-specific details.

Click here for a printable workshop flyer.

For more information, call Alyssa Patchin at the TD offices or email apatchin@smart-union.org.

Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program to hold classes

The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program is pleased to announce the following HazMat/Chemical Emergency Response Training Programs. This training addresses OSHA and DOT required training in addition to procedures, different levels of response and worker protection in a hazardous materials emergency or release, weapons of mass destruction awareness and the incident command system. The training also provides completion of the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach requirements. The programs are delivered using interactive classroom instruction, small group activities, hands-on drills and a simulated hazmat response in full safety gear.

The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program is funded to provide this training by a federal grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). This five-day hazmat training course will provide rail workers the essential knowledge, skills, and response actions in the case of an unintentional release. These tools will allow rail workers to protect themselves, their co-workers and their communities.

The funding provides the following student expenses: air travel, lodging and meals. In addition, an incentive of $175.00 per day is available to all training participants of these programs, except those who are able to secure regular pay through their employer, or are paid union officers.

The dates of the training class are as follows:

  • November 12-17, 2017
  • January 7-12, 2018
  • February 11-16, 2018
  • March 18-23, 2018

Training will be conducted at the Houston Fire Department’s Val Jahnke Training Facility, 8030 Braniff Street Houston, TX 77061.

Programs begin Sunday evenings* at 5:30 p.m. and conclude Fridays at 1:00 p.m. Students may be asked to travel on Saturdays to meet program start times or where substantial reductions in airfare warrant. When registering, please select dates in order of preference:

Click here for a printable information sheet.

Click here to register for classes.

For phone inquiries please call 202-624-6963, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.