LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Railroad tracks run through many communities in the Mahoning Valley. After the derailment in East Palestine, we wanted to know if those communities have a response plan in place.

There are miles and miles of railroad tracks spanning through Trumbull County.

“There are trains moving through all hours of the day and night,” said Girard Fire Chief Jim Petruzzi.

Although, derailments don’t happen often.

“It can happen anywhere, so anywhere where there are tracks,” said Lordstown Fire Chief Travis Eastham.

In March 2011, a dozen CSX rail cars derailed near the Center Street Bridge in Newton Falls. Nothing hazardous leaked, but it was a much different story on February 3 when a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine.

Several Trumbull County fire chiefs, including Petruzzi and Eastham, went to East Palestine the next day to help set up an Incident Command System.

“It was very eye-opening, the gravity of the entire incident,” Petruzzi said.

“It was also a learning experience for us,” Eastham said.

Petruzzi said training is the focus following the East Palestine incident.

“There are numerous communities in the area that are now looking into trainings the East Palestine incident really brought a lot of light to,” Petruzzi said.

Although no one can be fully prepared for what happened in East Palestine, both chiefs say they have a plan in place should a derailment occur in their jurisdictions.

“It’s basically the same plan we have for a lot of our other large industries just due to the fact that the rail is mobile. Doesn’t make it any different than what we have going on in places like Ultium Cells,” Eastham said.

Petruzzi said residents can count on local departments.

“Everybody should just know that we are here. We’re going to respond, and we’re going to mitigate the incident should one occur to be the safest for us and for the entire community,” he said.