BLET salutes Carl Fields upon retirement

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 18 — Brother Carl W. Fields, who served the BLET Safety Task Force for more than 25 years, retired effective October 17, 2019. His railroad career spanned more than 41 years with the Norfolk & Western Railroad and the Indiana Harbor Belt.

On behalf of all BLET National Division officers, staff, and the entire membership throughout the United States, BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce expressed his thanks and appreciation to Brother Fields.

“Your dedication, work ethic and organizational skills have helped secure the BLET’s position as leader among all of Rail Labor in accident investigation,” President Pierce wrote, upon receipt of Brother Fields’ resignation letter. “Your talent and input will be sorely missed. I wish you a long and enjoyable retirement.”

In addition to his work on the Safety Task Force, Brother Fields also represented the BLET on the Advisory Board of the Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program from 2014-2019.

“BLET leaders and members alike have benefited from your work to ensure timely and detailed training is provided regarding transportation of hazardous materials, and in sharing first responder responsibilities with civil authorities when a hazmat incident occurs in our industry. Your contributions in this field are all the more important because you help to ensure that training is afforded that the carriers cannot bother to provide,” wrote President Pierce.

BLET National Secretary-Treasurer Steve Bruno, who serves as Chairman of the Safety Task Force, said: “I am proud to salute Brother Fields upon his retirement and thank him for his many years of service and leadership. With his warm personality and good sense of humor, Carl has many friends within our Brotherhood and we will miss him.”

Brother Fields hired out on the Norfolk & Western Railroad on April 1, 1978. He went firing with the Indiana Harbor Belt in April of 1991 and earned promotion to locomotive engineer on August 2, 1991. He joined BLET Division 682 (Hammond, Ind.) on July 1, 1993, and has held continuous membership for the past 26+ years.

In 1994, he began work for the BLET Safety Task Force as an Investigator, serving as Assistant Coordinator from December 7, 2006 to August 3, 2010, and as Coordinator from August 3, 2010 to October 17, 2019.

Brother Fields has served the Brotherhood in numerous other offices throughout his long and distinguished railroad career. He served Division 682 as Legislative Representative for 15 years (2001-2016), and served the Indiana State Legislative Board for 14 years in various offices, including: 2nd Alternate Vice Chairman, 2002-2004; Alternate Secretary-Treasurer, 2004-2006; and as Secretary-Treasurer, 2006-2016. He was appointed to serve on the Arrangements Committee at three BLET National Conventions (2010, 2014 and 2018), and had the honor of serving on the Arrangements Committee for the BLET’s 150th anniversary celebration in Detroit, Mich., in May of 2013.

He and his wife Cheryl have been married since October 5, 1986, and they reside in Mokena, Ill.

“It has been an honor to serve the Brotherhood these past 25 years, and to work in the railroad industry for more than 41 years,” Brother Fields said. “I have been fortunate to work alongside some of the most devoted union activist Brothers & Sisters in the industry.”

Monday, November 18, 2019

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