Risdon Joins SLSI As Manager of Program Support


WASHINGTON – May 30, 2023 – The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) has selected Ryan Risdon for the new position of Manager, Program Support. Ryan Risdon brings more than twenty-five years of experience in railroad safety administration, compliance and emergency response management, adding to the SLSI staff’s more than 600 years of hazardous materials safety experience.

As the Manager, Program Support, Risdon will be instrumental in providing support to both the safety culture and hazardous materials training programs. Each of these programs has grown steadily, adding new elements such as Leadership Development Training, Transportation Emergency Response Plans (TERP) and Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) to address safety gaps in the short line railroad industry.

“We are excited to have Ryan aboard. He brings significant and diverse experience in managing the challenging environment of railroading from both the employee and contractor perspectives. In addition, his more than fifteen years as a firefighter/EMT volunteer will provide meaningful insight into how we can best serve the training needs of emergency personnel who may be called to the scene of a railroad incident,” said Tom Murta, Executive Director, SLSI.

The Short Line Safety Institute has conducted more than 128 Safety Culture Assessments to date, including for freight, tourist and passenger railroads. SLSI’s Hazardous Materials Training program has provided training to 2,632 individuals across 476 railroads over the past five years.

“I’m joining the Short Line Safety Institute at an exciting time. With the recent completion of the inaugural ALERT training, and increased attention being paid to hazardous materials safety response following the February 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the SLSI is poised to develop and deploy several new programs that will provide enhanced training to short line railroads before, during and after an incident,” said Ryan Risdon. “I’m looking forward to applying my experience as an emergency responder, and as a safety professional on a railroad to benefit the short line railroad industry.”

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