Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and RapidSOS announced a partnership Wednesday to help equip first responders with critical information to safely respond to a rail emergency. Together, the companies will make it quicker and easier to access cargo and hazardous materials information and enable the ability to call for mutual aid, all while providing ongoing training.

"Norfolk Southern is committed to being an industry leader in safety," said John Fleps, Norfolk Southern's Vice President of Safety. "When a rail incident occurs, seconds count. Through our partnership with RapidSOS, 911 call centers and first responder agencies throughout our 22-state network will have faster access to the information they need to safeguard their response, save lives, and protect the communities in which we operate."

The RapidSOS platform securely links over 500 million devices, apps, and sensors to more than 15,000 911 and field responder agencies. The partnership will leverage that network to help provide critical information and capabilities to first responders, including:

  • Train cargo contents with details by train car
  • Hazardous materials information and emergency response standards and best practices
  • Ability to digitally escalate for mutual aid to surrounding agencies
  • Online learning, support, and training at no cost to first responders

Prior to the partnership, emergency dispatchers had to manually search online databases and verbally relay critical information to field responders.

"Our partnership with Norfolk Southern will provide first responder agencies with advanced situational awareness to best respond in the event of a train emergency," said Jose Mejia, Chief Operating Officer at RapidSOS. "We are thrilled to collaborate with Norfolk Southern to provide this data to support public safety to aid in keeping communities prepared and safe."

The enhanced data from Norfolk Southern will be available to 911 centers and field responders nationwide in early 2024.