WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District sent a letter to leaders in the U.S House of Representatives requesting that in light of the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Act the House take action to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
Rep. Kind worked with Sen. Heitkamp (D-ND) to introduce the legislation, which helps first responders deal with the negative impacts of a train derailment or fuel spill.
“With the Senate taking action to unanimously pass their version of the RESPONSE Act it is time for the House to follow suit and bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Our first responders and local communities deserve to have the tools and training they need to react quickly and effectively in case of an emergency. I hope my colleagues in the House will swiftly pass this bill,” said Rep. Kind.
The RESPONSE Act would create a subcommittee under FEMA’s National Advisory Council to bring together agencies, emergency responders, technical experts, and the private sector to review training, best practices, resources and unmet needs related to railroad incidents. The subcommittee would provide recommendations to Congress within one year on emergency responder training and resource allocation, addressing quality of training, funding levels, and improving the flow of information to local first responders.