Ethanol safety seminars planned in Alabama and Kansas

By Renewable Fuels Association | August 04, 2014

The Renewable Fuels Association will host several Ethanol Safety Seminars this month in Alabama and Kansas.

Alabama will be home to two seminars. The first seminar will be held Aug. 7 at Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa; it will be co-hosted by Alabama Southern Railroad. The second seminar will be held on Aug. 8 at Doster Community Center in Prattville and will be co-hosted by Autauga Northern Railroad.

The Ethanol Safety Seminars then shift to Kansas. There will be a seminar Aug. 11–12 at the Overland Park Fire Training Center near Kansas City. This seminar will have Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad as co-host. The next seminar will occur Aug. 13 at the Webster Conference Center in Salina, followed by the final seminar on Aug. 14 at Pratt Community College near Wichita. Both will be co-hosted by Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad.

All seminars are funded by a Federal Railroad Administration grant through TRANSCAER. RFA has been a TRANSCAER member since 2007.

The seminars in Tuscaloosa, Prattville, Salina, and Wichita will feature a morning session from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and an evening session from 5:30 to 10 p.m. The seminar held at the Overland Park Fire Training Center will have two sessions from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. only. Each seminar is free, but registration is limited. Lunch and dinner will be provided. Certificates will be awarded to attendees at the completion of the course.

The goal of these seminars is for attendees to gain full ethanol emergency response training experience that they can put to use immediately in the field as well as pass along to other first response teams. A majority of this training is based on the “Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response,” a training package created by the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition that has been distributed throughout the United States and to several countries worldwide.

“Rail has proven itself to be one of the safest modes of transportation for hazardous materials over the years,” said Jimmy Patterson, general manager at Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad. “We must be mindful of possible risks, however, and be ready to respond should an incident occur. The Ethanol Safety Seminars provide emergency responders with the training they need to effectively react to a sudden event.”

Attendees will receive in-depth information on proper training techniques that first responders and hazmat personnel need to effectively respond to an ethanol-related emergency. While primarily targeting first responders, hazmat teams, safety managers, and local emergency planning committees, it is also open to the general public.

“The public relies on the nation’s first responders to protect them during the worst of emergency events,” said Kristy Moore, RFA vice president of technical services. “With these seminars, RFA makes sure that personnel receive the training they need to tackle these safety challenges before venturing into potentially hazardous conditions.”

The Ethanol Safety Seminar focuses on numerous important areas of ethanol safety including an introduction to ethanol and ethanol-blended fuels, chemical and physical characteristics of ethanol and hydrocarbon fuels, transportation and transfer of ethanol-blended fuels, storage and dispensing locations, firefighting foam principles and ethanol-blended fuel, health and safety considerations for ethanol-blended fuel emergencies and tank farm and bulk storage fire incidents.

To register for these seminars, go to

The RFA has been co-hosting Ethanol Safety Seminars throughout the summer. Next on the calendar: Aug. 26–27 in Westfield, Mass.

For more information on ethanol emergency response, visit the EERC website at