Elkhart County is prepared for rail emergencies similar to derailment in Northeastern Ohio

ELKHART, Ind.- Evacuation and shelter-in-place orders remain in effect in a northeastern Ohio town after a train derailment sparked a massive fire and concerns about air quality. A Norfolk Southern train with more than 100 cars derailed in East Palestine

Norfolk Southern has a large depot in Elkhart county, local Emergency Management teams are already trained and prepared for if a similar incident were to occur in the area. 

Jennifer Tobey, also a Elkhart Firefighter, tells us its situations like these that keep her up at night, but Elkhart County already has plans in store. 

"we thrive here in Elkhart county…a lot of exercising… planning. For the what ifs… we're true believers since 9/11 its not if its when.. so if something like this were to happen… I think all the players would come out.. and we would tackle it like a team," said Tobey. 

Elkhart County Hazmat team would likely be first on the scene, Division Chief David Cushaw says his team has had special trainings from Norfolk South on how to manage similar emergencies. He commended the Fire Departments in Ohio on their had work, while having confidence that Elkhart County is trained and prepared to handle a situation of this size. 

"Elkhart county is very prepared…We have our partners at Norfolk southern here in town… we have a specialized hazmat team. In particular for the Elkhart fire department that works for our entire county," said Cushaw who is originally from a town near the incident. 

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