March 8, 2023

Oneida & Herkimer Counties to Hold Joint Train Derailment Training Exercise

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Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and Herkimer County Chairman Vincent J. Bono announced today that they are organizing a joint train derailment training exercise in order to reinforce emergency preparation and response in light of recent national railway safety issues.

“The fallout from the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has raised questions across the nation about railway safety and local emergency preparedness and response,” Picente said. “Here in Oneida County, we have trained diligently for such incidents, and along with our partners in Herkimer County, are ready to swiftly and thoroughly handle any situation. But we can always do better. The time is right to revisit our plans and sharpen our skills in order to provide the maximum protection we can to our residents.”

Led by Oneida County’s Hazardous Materials Response Team, the training exercise will be tabletop exercise that will involve officials from both county governments and representatives from state agencies and local police, fire and emergency services. Oneida and Herkimer counties have conducted similar train derailment training exercises in the past.

“Herkimer and Oneida counties are no strangers to having train derailments,” Bono said. “Both counties are a major conduit for railway traffic. Thousands of containers carrying freight, chemicals and other volatile materials pass through both Herkimer and Oneida counties on a daily basis. That being said, we must be prepared to handle an accident at any time it arises. Working together with our neighbor, only strengthens our efforts to be prepared and control situations that could have devastating effects on our beautiful Mohawk Valley. “

The tabletop training exercise is scheduled to take place on April 1, 2023. A full-scale in-the-field simulation is also in the works for later this year

Oneida County Partners