Should any of the increasing number of rail cars carrying crude oil ever leak or spill, it will be up to Hastings Fire and Rescue to coordinate cleanup efforts.
Hastings Fire Chief Kent Gilbert said hazardous material training has been in place for local emergency responders since the 1980s.
Firefighters in the department receive eight hours of hazardous material training every year.
The training is provided by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and contract instructors and the Nebraska Fire Marshal’s office.
“The rail shipments are a concern for us and for the city of Hastings because we have two major rail lines through town,” Gilbert said. “That averages a freight train every 15 minutes.”