Sunday, November 20, 2011

SEPTA Emergency Drill Today

Every year SEPTA conducts an emergency drill in accordance with the federal mandate requiring passenger railroads to conduct a full-scale emergency simulation each calendar year. The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate SEPTA’s capability to execute its Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness Plan under a variety of scenarios and to ensure coordination with emergency responders.

Today the annual drill was held at the Miquon Train Station in Whitemarsh.  The scenario involved a disabled passenger train and diesel work train on a sabotaged rail and in contact with a car.  The car was on two wheels and leaning against the back of a train.  Rescue workers had to use the "jaws of life" on the car. 

Some transit workers and volunteers from the community acted as rail passengers.  Each was assigned a specific injury and vital signs.  Some roles included behavioral instructions (hysterical or unresponsive).   Rescue workers came through and evaluated the passengers, some were led off the train via the stairs, others were strapped to a backboard, handed through the emergency window, and placed on a gurney. Most (all?) years a simulated passenger is in a wheelchair to give rescue crews practice working with physically disabled riders. 

I feel safer as a rider knowing SEPTA does this kind of training.

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