In 1985 the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) started the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response initiative (TRANSCAER®) to help provide training and guidance in responding to potential incidents involving dangerous goods that move through communities. Today the CIAC and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), head the organization and they work with municipalities, transportation companies, emergency services and residents along transportation corridors to make sure they are knowledgeable about the products being moved through their communities and that training and knowledge are provided to help them deal with potential incidents.
Northwest is one of the founding members of the TRANSCAER in Canada. For 25 years Northwest has participated in TRANSCAER workshops and community outreach to help address concerns about hazardous materials transportation across Alberta and BC. With planning and teamwork, the program continues to provide help with the development and assessment of emergency response plans.
The TRANSCAER Purpose
Safety is the focus of TRANSCAER, and their membership involves organizations from:
- Chemical Manufacturing
- Chemical Distribution
- Industry Associations
- Emergency Response Groups
The purpose of TRANSCAER is to promote safety in the handling and transport of hazardous materials. They do this through education and support of communities along major transportation routes. With their assistance these communities are prepared, just in case there is an incident, with the most up–to-date knowledge and practices so they can minimize the impact on the community and the environment.
More specifically TRANSCAER uses the following practices and tools:
- Planning Assistance: the knowledge and experience of our members helps communities better understand and be prepared for potential emergencies.
- Hazmat Training: Available in many forms, free hazmat training can consist of classroom learning, hands-on training or online education.
- Practice: working with communities to plan exercises and drills to help groups better understand the emergency response process.
- Reference Materials: provide technical information on chemicals, transportation equipment and transportation practices.
- Resources: Whether experienced individuals, knowledge or materials TRANSCAER connects communities with the resources they need to be prepared.
- Awards Program: celebrating the individuals and teams who made an exceptional contribution to hazmat safety over the past year.
Northwest and TRANSCAER
As a leader in TRANSCAER community outreach, Northwest is regularly involved in activities with communities, experts, and first responders to help raise awareness and preparedness. Tom Blaney, the president of Northwest was even the first-ever recipient of the CCPA/TransCAER President’s Award for Leadership and Continuous Improvement in Transportation Safety.
Northwest hosts safety conferences in Western Canada allowing all sorts of exceptional hands-on training and opportunities. Things like chemical foam spraying practice, getting to know hazmat containers, getting to know security equipment, an exhibit of the safety features of different chemical and compressed gas tank trailers and simulated chemical spills, provide invaluable experience. There is also the opportunity to hear from different government regulatory bodies for all parties to better know the regulations. These conferences always have a great turnout with people from customers, first responders, transportation companies and various types of shippers all coming together.
Safety is an integral part of Northwest’s culture, and they are committed to TRANSCAER and all the important work they do. It is seen in the way Northwest trains their drivers, the quality of their equipment and their strict adherence to the rules and regulations of the industry. Northwest has continued to maintain their focus on safety for over 65 years.