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Railroad Awareness Training Put into Action

​HSEM’s specialized pipeline and railroad awareness training was put to good use this week when the Maple Lake Fire Department found itself responding to a call of a car that collided with a train. The training allowed firefighters with the department to identify all of the railcars that were involved in the incident to determine if there were potential safety hazards. They also utilized the technology at their fingertips by using the AskRail app to determine that the westbound cars were empty.

Since 2014, HSEM has trained more than 6,000 first responders from 204 departments on the hazards posed by the transportation of oil and other substances along Minnesota’s 4,400 miles of railways.

Review the Minnesota Rail Safety training programs.


Governor Approves State Disaster Assistance for Kittson County Flooding

Kittson County Spring FloodingGovernor Dayton authorized State Disaster Assistance for Kittson County following flooding along the Red River between March 27 and April 13. Flooded roadways forced closures and detours that interrupted school bus and mail routes. Ice jams and high water washed out fields, which led to a delay on the planting season for area farmers. Debris from the river also blocked culverts and bridges.

This is the second State Disaster Assistance declaration in 2017. Under Minnesota law, the state will reimburse 75 percent of the eligible costs to clean up and make repairs to public infrastructure and property and the county will cover the remaining 25 percent.


Tis is the Season! Time to watch the skies for Severe Weather

Severe Weather Season

Spring is here and that means the potential for severe weather has returned as well. Already, Minnesota has authorized State Disaster Assistance for Freeborn County following a severe storm and a tornado last month. Tornadoes get plenty of attention, but Minnesotans should stay alert and be prepared for the following safety threats:

Follow this website, along with the HSEM Facebook and Twitter pages, to learn new ways to stay informed this severe weather season.

Freeborn County is first to receive State Disaster Assistance in 2017

Freeborn County State Diasaster AssistanceFreeborn County will receive State Disaster Assistance for damages to public property following severe thunderstorms that produced an F1 tornado on March 6.

Clarks Grove was the hardest hit, with damage to the fire hall and significant tree debris. Other buildings, like the fertilizer plant and the hardware store, were also damaged. Governor Dayton authorized the relief to help the county make repairs to public infrastructure and reimburse them for clean-up costs. Freeborn County is the first to receive State Disaster Assistance in 2017. Under law, the state will reimburse 75 percent of the eligible costs, with the county covering the remaining 25 percent.

Featured Video

Video Description: This video shows what happens behind the scenes during an exercise in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).