Skip Navigation
National Institute of Environmental Health SciencesNational Institutes of Health
Increase text size Decrease text size Print this page

MetaMedia Training International, Inc.

WETP Cooperative Agreement Awardee:

Project Title

"Lessons from Graniteville" DVD

Principal Investigator/Institution

Thomas H. Held, Ed.S

Tel (301) 515-6300, ext 202
      (301) 908-8224, mobile


MetaMedia Training International, Inc.
Suite 425
20251 Century Boulevard
Germantown, Maryland 20874 ( Exit NIEHS Website

Program Description

Specific Aims of “Lessons Learned from Graniteville” DVD
MetaMedia Training International, Inc. (MetaMedia) has teamed with the Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program (Rail Workers) to research the effectiveness of using an interactive DVD training tool entitled Lessons Learned from Graniteville. The DVD will be based on the Norfolk Southern railroad derailment that occurred in Graniteville, SC, in January 2005. The collision released more than 11,000 gallons of chlorine gas, causing nine deaths, injuring hundreds, and causing the evacuation of more than 5,400 citizens. The DVD will provide peer instructors with an interactive tool to facilitate small group exercises on responding to a freight train derailment involving hazardous materials.

The specific objective of this Phase I R&D effort is to further the development of Advanced Training Technology products for the health and safety training of first responders to rail hazmat incidents. As defined by 29 CFR 1910.120 ( document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9765) Exit NIEHS Website, first responders at the awareness or operations level are individuals who respond to releases of hazardous substances to protect nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release.

During Phase I of the project, MetaMedia and the Rail Workers will determine the training needs of the target audience, design a training tool to meet those needs, and produce a working prototype of the product that will be evaluated in an actual training session. Deliverables for Phase I will be a Design Document providing a blueprint for building the training tool, a Working DVD Prototype providing an interactive case study, and an Evaluation Report describing the effectiveness of the Lessons Learned from Graniteville DVD prototype.

The long-term objective of the proposed research (Phase II) is to produce a DVD-based product to better prepare a wide variety of emergency response personnel to more safely and effectively respond to rail accidents involving hazardous materials. Interactive DVD represents a technological innovation over traditional training media. It provides a low-cost approach to providing interactive video simulations in the classroom.

The commercial applications for the proposed product are widespread. The potential audience for the Lessons Learned from Graniteville DVD is large. It includes all first responders, skilled support personnel, and rail workers who may be first on the scene at a derailment and/or involved in rescue and clean-up operations. The number of first responders alone is large. There are more than 1 million firefighters, 800,000 law enforcement officers, and 840,000 EMTs and paramedics across the country, and “they need targeted and effective training to develop and hone the specialized skills they need to fulfill their homeland security responsibilities.” Funding for procuring training materials for first responders is now widely available at the local and state level, and there is currently no Advanced Training Technology product that addresses hazmat rail incidents.

Project Duration

  • September 1, 2006 - August 31, 2007

Grant Number

  • R43ES014762

Back to top Back to top Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health
This page URL:
NIEHS website:
Email the Web Manager at
Last Reviewed: May 07, 2007