NORFOLK, Va., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern Corporation has earned the 2012 National Achievement Award from Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER®) for its efforts to help communities prepare for and respond to possible hazardous materials transportation incidents. This is the 13 th time Norfolk Southern has received the award. NS was one of 10 transportation and chemical companies recognized. NS' Bill Oertly, hazardous materials compliance officer, Roanoke, Va., won the TRANSCAER® Torch Award in recognition of lifetime achievement. Norfolk Southern supports communities across its rail system by training fire and police departments and rescue and emergency medical organizations about rail safety precautions, railroad operations, initial-response procedures, and rail equipment through classroom training, hands-on activities, and table-top exercises as well as full-scale drills that include use of rail equipment to simulate hypothetical responses to emergency situations. In 2012, Norfolk Southern provided more than 19,000 hours of rail accident response training to more than 5,000 emergency responders. NS also conducted railroad operations classes for FBI agents and railroad liaison agents from the National Joint Terrorism Task Force operated by the FBI, and participated in four drills for local, state, and federal agencies. In addition, the railroad has ongoing programs to sponsor emergency responders to attend intensive training courses at the Security and Emergency Response Training Center at the AAR Transportation Technology Center Inc., in Pueblo, Colo. "Norfolk Southern and its employees are unparalleled in their commitment to providing training to support first responders from across our rail network," said David Julian, NS vice president safety and environmental. "Norfolk Southern places great importance on these proactive efforts to enhance the preparedness of communities and their emergency management agencies. In the unlikely event of an incident, TRANSCAER® training programs ensure that shared knowledge, mutual areas of expertise, and a wealth of resources can be leveraged to protect the communities we serve," added NS System Director Environmental Protection Richard Russell.