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Fransen appointed Coordinator of BLET Safety Task Force

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 18 — BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce has announced that Brian Fransen will begin serving the National Division as Coordinator of the BLET Safety Task Force (STF), effective immediately, following the retirement of long-serving Coordinator Carl W. Fields. President Pierce also announced the appointment of Bryan Aldridge to the position of Assistant Coordinator.

BLET National Secretary-Treasurer Stephen J. Bruno will continue serving as Chairman of the STF.

Brother Fransen is a BNSF locomotive engineer and Local Chairman of BLET Division 207 in Casper, Wyoming. He hired out with the former BN in 1993 at Casper, earning promotion to locomotive engineer in January of 1995. He joined the Brotherhood on September 1, 1995, and began serving his Division as Local Chairman on January 1, 2010.

In 2012, President Pierce appointed Brother Fransen to serve the STF as an Investigator, and he has served the STF admirably ever since. He represented the STF during accident investigations in Heimdal, N.D. in 2015, in Granger, Wyo., in 2016, and most recently in Granite Canyon, Wyo., in 2018. Brother Fransen was appointed to the position of STF Assistant Coordinator in May of 2019. He was elected 4th Vice General Chairman of the BNSF/MRL General Committee of Adjustment in 2019, having won election to serve as 2nd Alternate VGC in 2016 and 3rd Alternate VGC in 2013. Brother Fransen and his wife Nichole live in Casper, Wyo., and they have two children.

Brother Bryan Aldridge, the new Assistant Coordinator of the STF, is a CSX locomotive engineer and member of BLET Division 78 in Louisville, Ky. Brother Aldridge has served the BLET as Chairman of the Kentucky State Legislative Board since 2008. He joined the BLET on September 1, 2003. Brother Aldridge was elected 1st Vice Chairman of the Kentucky State Legislative Board in October of 2006 and was elevated to Chairman in September of 2008. He was subsequently reelected by acclamation at quadrennial meetings in 2010, 2014 and 2018. Brother Aldridge has served the STF since 2011, and has worked numerous accidents during that time, including the 2014 fatality in Hoxie, Ark., and the 2018 fatality in Cayce, S.C.

“I thank Brother Fransen for accepting this appointment and I have every confidence that he will excel in his new role as Coordinator of the BLET Safety Task Force,” President Pierce said. “I also wish to thank Brother Aldridge for his continued service to the STF, and I know he will do an excellent job as STF Assistant Coordinator.”

Founded 30 years ago in 1989, the BLET Safety Task Force was the first formal, union-based accident investigation team in the railroad industry. The STF assists federal agencies in the investigation of rail accidents, helping to determine probable causes and making safety recommendations. STF investigators study all aspects of rail accidents, including operations and human factors, signal systems, and track structures.

“Our Safety Task Force studies accidents from the viewpoint of locomotive engineers and trainmen to help determine how particular accidents occur and how to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future,” President Pierce said. “I cannot overstate how important that is, especially in an industry that is oftentimes focused more on financial balance sheets than employee safety.”

Monday, November 18, 2019

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