IRONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — Norfolk Southern offered free training this week to prepare local first responders on how to respond to railroad incidents.

Firefighters from Pell City, Springville and Hoover participated in Thursday’s training on how to approach a railroad incident, common incidents and how to respond.

Connor Spielmaker, senior communications manager with Norfolk Southern, said the training provided hands-on experience and helped in building relationships.

“We want to give them that actual training and actual things they would encounter and things and ways to respond to an incident so they have that muscle memory,” senior communication manager with Norfolk Southern Connor Spielmaker said.

Pell City fire captain Andrew Minyard says the town has had two train incidents in the past two years. He says Thursday’s training prepares them for possible future railroad incidents.

“It’s either reminded us of things we’ve already learned or will help us with the tools for situations we need to handle,” Minyard said.

The training is also important because it builds relationships between Norfolk Southern and first responders.

“If ever there is a large-scale incident, they know what to expect, they know what they’re going to get and they know what resources we can provide and we have that trust already built in so we can get right to work in a moment notice if a situation happens,” Spielmaker said.

On Friday, the training will end with first responders participating in a train derailment simulation. Irondale, Birmingham and Pelham will be some of the fire departments participating in Friday’s simulation.