2019 TRANSCAER® Awards Profiles

As mentioned in the last issue, despite not being able to gather and celebrate in-person, it’s important that we recognize the winners of the 2019 TRANSCAER® Awards for their dedication, hard work and achievements last year.  

Take a moment and learn a bit more about this first batch of award winners. 

Amber Rushton—Regional Achievement 

The TRANSCAER Regional Achievement awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated one or more of the following eligibility criteria: Exceptional delivery of TRANSCAER tools and training to new audiences, recruitment of new TRANSCAER members and participants, or actions resulting in positive media coverage. 

Amber Rushton, Community Emergency Management Coordinator with the City of Burlington Fire Department, has made significant contributions to the TRANSCAER initiative through her support of regional TRANSCAER events, earning a 2019 TRANSCAER® Regional Achievement award. 

Amber Rushton has been an active participant at Ontario Region TRANSCAER meetings and events. In 2019 Amber spearheaded two major events in Burlington, a full day of first responder training on the CN rail car and a TRANSCAER Community Open House at Burlington Fire Headquarters. These events combined attracted more than 200 participants of all demographics, bringing positive attention to TRANSCAER in the Ontario region. Amber’s outreach efforts have widened the reach of TRANSCAER messaging and public profile. In addition to supporting regional TRANSCAER events, Amber actively promotes TRANSCAER on social media to help bring exposure to TRANSCAER among members of the Burlington community.  


Ken Johnson—Regional Achievement 

Ken Johnson of Ken Johnson Trucking is acknowledged for his contributions to the TRANSCAER initiative, earning a 2019 TRANSCAER Regional Achievement Award. 

During the many years that Ken has been involved with TRANSACER in British Columbia, he has been active in Regional TRANSCAER committee meetings and events. Ken has brought forth the perspectives of the trucking industry, including how the industry operates to educate TRANSCAER members in his region on the range of issues they face daily. 

Ken’s consistent and long-term volunteer efforts with the British Columbia Region TRANSCAER committee has been remarkable. Ken has ensured that British Columbia regional TRANSACER events include both rail and road training opportunities and has sent his demonstration tank trailer to events as far north as Fort St. John or east to Cranbrook. Ken has displayed exceptional delivery of TRANSCAER tools and training to new audiences in his region and has expanded the reach of TRANSCAER in the British Columbia region.



Dave Clarke—Regional Achievement 

Captain Dave Clarke has contributed significantly to delivering TRANSCAER training through outreach at the regional level and has been awarded a 2019 TRANSCAER Regional Achievement award.  

Captain Clarke does an exceptional job educating First Responders at FESTI (Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute) at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, where he facilitates courses to educate students from various backgrounds such as fire, police, industry, emergency response contractors, and government in responses techniques for fire, rescue and Hazmat/dangerous goods. As a member of the Ontario Region TRANSCAER Committee Dave has forged a strong bond with the TRANSCAER program and its participants and organizers. Dave routinely participates in regional meetings and events and is active in offering the extensive FESTI facilities and experience.  

In addition to his consistent support of TRANSCAER events in the Ontario region, following the retirement of the CCPX 911 Car in 2019, Dave offered the Fire and emergency Service Training Institute (FESTI) as a permanent home of the tank car. This has enabled the continued exceptional delivery of TRANSCAER training and outreach tools, increased participation, and positive media attention in the Ontario Region. 


Michael Heeringa—Regional Achievement 

Michael Heeringa has done an exceptional job of delivering TRANSCAER® tools and training to new audiences, earning a 2019 Regional Achievement Award. 

Michael holds the position as a Dangerous Goods Officer with Canadian National Railway in south western Ontario. Michael’s background and commitment to emergency response makes him a valuable asset to CIAC’s TRANSCAER® program. During his involvement with the initiative he has both facilitated and participated in many TRANSCAER® events and works closely with emergency response contractors, railway suppliers, and shippers to conduct outreach initiatives to reach participants across Ontario. 

Michael not only actively conducts TRANSCAER® training in Ontario, but he does extensive “behind the scenes” work to ensure successful delivery of TRANSCAER® outreach. This includes bringing CN’s valve trailer directly to events to conduct TRANSCAER® training with firefighters and assisting with some hands-on work to ensure that the retired CCPX 911 made it safely to its new home at FESTI. Michael’s contributions to the TRANSCAER® initiative have been vital in delivering effective and consistent TRANSACER® training and broadening the reach of the initiative in the Ontario Region.  


Jeff Stevens—National Achievement 

Jeff Stevens of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the TRANSCAER initiative nationally as the recipient of the 2019 TRANSCAER National Achievement Award. 

Jeff Stevens played an exceptional leadership role for the proposal to Transport Canada to develop new TRANSCAER tools and outreach plans which increase rail safety and TDG awareness and preparedness. This proposal included rationale and costing for developing a virtual reality program and tools, building a new safety training tank car, and hosting a series of outreach events across the country. These tools and outreach initiatives will increase the profile of TRANSCAER nationally and help advance its sustainability and mandate over the long-term. With Jeff’s help, TRANSCAER training and tools will be accessible across the country. Jeff’s continued efforts have promoted increased participation and recognition nationally; this has earned him the 2019 TRANSCAER National Achievement award. 

Through Jeff’s work with the TRANSCAER initiative he has exemplified exceptional delivery of TRANSCAER tools and training to audiences across multiple regions, aided in the recruitment of new TRANSCAER members or participants in multiple regions and cultivated positive media coverage in multiple regions.  

 For more information on how to nominate someone for a 2020 TRANSCAER® Award visit transcaer.ca