Posted by byager | Fire and Rescue, Health, PPE, Performance, Safety
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 7:05 am

Safety alert: fire operations around railroad property

Recently, in Detroit, Michigan, there was an incident involving a ladder truck struck by an Amtrak Train. IAFF has posted this safety alert from Amtrak, reminding emergency response personnel to keep the following points in mind before and during incidents on or in close proximity to railroad property:

  • Know what railroad controls train movement on the tracks that run through your response area.
  • Make sure that your communications center/dispatcher has the proper emergency telephone contact numbers for the railroads in your response area.
  • If the railroad(s) in your response area is equipped with an AC or DC overhead catenary system, or DC 3rd rail system used for traction power, know what railroad controls those systems.
  • Pre-plan with the railroads that run through your response area (as you would for a target hazard building).

Prior to allowing your personnel to operate on or about the tracks, ask yourself, do they really need to be on or about the tracks (risks vs. benefits), or can the railroad personnel handle the incident? If your answer is yes, then:

  • Do not operate on, or in close proximity to, a track (15 feet) unless you have received confirmation from the railroad, through your dispatcher/communications center, that all train movement has been stopped on the affected tracks.
  • For areas where trains are powered by an overhead wire (catenary system), do not operate within 15 feet of the overhead wire until you receive confirmation from the railroad, through your dispatcher/communications center, that power has been removed and the overhead wire has been grounded.
  • For areas where trains are powered by a 3rd rail system, do not operate on or about the tracks until you receive confirmation from the railroad, through your dispatcher/communications center, that 3rd rail power has been removed.
  • Establish a command post and notify the railroad of the location of the command post.

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