The Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to provide hazmat training for volunteer or remote emergency responders. Specifically, the ALERT grant program will focus on emergency response activities involving the transportation of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail. Training-program details are currently being developed and will be available on this Fusion Center.


In PHMSA’s initial press release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, "Safety is our top priority and the ALERT grants will help first responders, especially volunteer firefighters in rural or remote parts of the country, prepare for and respond to incidents involving flammable liquids. It's critical that first responders have the information and training they need to respond to these types of incidents, and is one of more than a dozen actions the Department has taken in recent months to strengthen the safe transportation of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail."

The IAFC has partnered with IAFF, NAFTD, NVFC, NASFM, ISFSI, RFA, and several development vendors to provide a unique, cost-effective, blended training program to address planning, training and response needs of the rural and remote fire service in dealing with flammable liquids emergency incidents.


regional rail training

Regional Rail Response Training

Regional Rail Response Training


The IAFC and ISFSI worked with rail industry experts to develop this Regional Rail Response curriculum. The training is designed to bring local and regional agencies together to better understand the response efforts and roles should a derailment or incident occur and to discuss unified and coordinated response activities to a train derailment scenario, involving crude oil. After this 8-hour session, participants will be better prepared to respond to a rail incident by gaining:

  • An understanding of the response disciplines and associated roles during a response to a rail incident.
  • Knowledge about the industry and rail lines within your region, including the commodities that are transported.
  • An understanding about the need for a coordinated effort when responding to an incident, and how to effectively manage available resources.
  • Whitefish, MT
  • Experience in a group exercise to reinforce the training concepts around a train derailment scenario.

Upcoming training date(s):

  • TBA

*If you have already attended training, download the resources.

Overturned rail car

Rural Guide for Rail

The IAFC and the NASFM worked with Hazmat experts, rail industry (both Class 1 and short line representatives), emergency managers, and many other stakeholders to develop this short document intended to assist responders in working with their specific railroad in creating or revising their emergency response plans for a rail emergency. Well-known resources, such as the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), the Federal Rail Administration’s “Railroad Crossing Locator” app, CHEMTREC, are included in this guide to assist first responders in response activities. Download (below) and print this valuable resource – we recommend printing on 11x17 paper, two-sided, so that it’s one document folded in half for easy storage on your apparatus.

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Ethanol Emergencies Training

Ethanol Emergencies


The IAFC and RFA jointly developed a 2-hour online training program which is available on the IAFC Academy. This course has eight modules and upon completion, students will have knowledge related to ethanol and ethanol-blended fuels including the use, chemical and physical characteristics, transportation modes, transfer operations, basics of foam, suggested responder tactics and strategies, and environmental issues.

Ethanol Safety Seminars


The IAFC and the RFA are working together to host Ethanol Safety Seminars throughout the country. This training is based on the Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response, a training package created by the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition (EERC) that has distributed over 20,000 copies throughout the country and internationally. The goal of these seminars is for participants to gain a full ethanol and ethanol-blended fuel emergency response training experience that can be put to use immediately in the field.

Check back for future training dates

Training Hazmat Awareness and Hazmat Operations

Hazmat Awareness


The IAFC and the IAFF have worked together to develop a 4-hour online awareness-level training program, the Hazmat Awareness online training course. This course is currently hosted on the IAFF’s Learning Management System (LMS) and has 10 modules. Upon completion, students will have the knowledge and skills they need to recognize incidents involving hazardous materials, and the pre-requisite for attending an in-person Hazmat First Responder Operations course.

  • Hazmat Awareness Training: The user will have to sign up (or sign in if they already have an account), and then click the LMS button, and the Hazmat / WMD link, and then they’ll find the “Hazmat Awareness (ALERT).” Course.

Hazmat Operations


The IAFC and IAFF will host 20-in person deliveries and three Train the Trainer deliveries of their Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations (FRO) training program in conjunction with developed specialized training on the transportation of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail. Please visit the IAFF’s website to find a class near you and register.

*Please note, the Hazmat Awareness online course is a pre-requisite for this Operations class.

  • Individuals interested in a 2-day Hazmat Operations Course (with the pre-requisite of Hazmat Awareness online), should contact Jennifer Grimes, the IAFF Hazmat Training Administer.
Hydrogen photo

Hydrogen Response Training


The IAFC worked with the IAFC Hazmat Committee and hydrogen specialists from around the United States to update the Hydrogen Response course on the IAFC Academy. The course has four modules and upon completion, students will have knowledge related to hydrogen including its use, chemical and physical characteristics, and suggested responder tactics and strategies.

Get in touch

  • Fusion Center Operates from IAFC at 4025 Fair Ridge Dr Fairfax VA 22033

  • Phone: 703-273-0911

  • Email:

About The IAFC

The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. Its mission is to support current and future career, volunteer, fire-rescue and EMS chiefs, chief fire officers, company officers and managers of emergency service organizations throughout the international community through vision, information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.