WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Congressman Chris Deluzio (PA-17), introduced the bipartisan Assistance for Local Heroes During Train Crises Act to give much-needed support to first responders on the frontlines of hazardous train derailments. In the wake of the Norfolk Southern train derailment earlier this year, emergency responders and law enforcement officials were overwhelmed due to a lack of resources. This legislation would ensure that communities are equipped with adequate resources for responses to these types of emergencies.

“Emergency personnel that respond to devastating accidents, including train derailments, are the first line of defense for public safety,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “Our bipartisan Assistance for Local Heroes During Train Crises Act will ensure that the Department of Transportation is adequately communicating with local emergency response officials, improving coordination and preparedness. I am proud to join Representative Deluzio in introducing this legislation that will ensure our first responders have the resources they need before, during, and after hazardous derailments.” 

“When massive rail corporates derail in communities, it’s local governments and first responders who are left to pay the bill, clean up the mess, and protect the public,” said Congressman Deluzio. “It is time to pay them back with more than gratitude, and I am proud to partner with Representative Fitzpatrick on this legislation. The Assistance for Local Heroes During Train Crises Act will help communities across the country better prepare for future derailments with improved information-sharing and will cover the cost of damaged equipment, overtime pay, and more—all paid for by the companies that ship and carry these materials. No community should be left footing the bill for corporate negligence and greed; we need real accountability.” 

“As the President of the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association, I am proud to announce that we support the Assistance for Local Heroes During Train Crises Act,” said Robert Brooks, President of the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association. “We have a local that is now still without equipment lost to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Beaver Falls Fire Fighters Local 3539 is operating to this day down 13 sets of full gear, 10 self-contained breathing apparatuses and 10 face pieces for starters. That is a tremendous load for a fire department to overcome. With this legislation, the money needed would be immediately available to replace this equipment and replace manpower lost to illnesses related to the incident.” 

Read the full text of the bill HERE.