New Rail Related Safety Guides for Vol.FDs In the Works
As I continue to reap the benefits from my Fall 2005 visit to the Transcaer safety train that Norfolk Southern brought to its Bison Yard facility last fall, I have put together a couple of guides designed to keep volunteer firefighters safe when working fire scenes close to active railroad lines and assisting at derailment scenes. The first one, Manual for Conducting Firefighting Operations around Active Railroad Line has been distributed to all officers in my department. It contains timetable station pages and track diagrams pertaining to railroads serving Wyoming County. Being an avid railroad enthusiast and timetable collector, I have enough material on hand to adapt this document to suit VFDs in Erie,Cattaraugus, and other Western New York counties served by one or more railroads. The other document I am developing is Emergency Responder Safety at Derailment Scenes, which also t akes what I learned at the Caer seminars held aboard the train on Sept.12, 2005 in Buffalo. These are primarily aimed at the new firefighters now in training at various volunteer departments around Western New York, but I believe veterans can benefit from what I am putting together as well. Granted, my role in my department is strictly supportive, but it was my intention to do these or any other special projects I could come up with as part of the package when I joined my department several years ago. This is my way of making up for not being able to be active active due to a foot injury from a 1997 accident. I have the text portions of these documents available and can e-mail them as attachments on request. I know of no firefighter deaths stemming from operations in the vicinity of active rail lines or aiding at a derailment site and one main goal of the second one is to keep it that way. As far as I am concerned one LODD is one too many. If my safety documents save even one firefighter's life, they will have served their intended purpose. I am far from being any kind of expert on either fire fighting or railroad ops, but by these special projects, my goal is to have my department and other VFDs benefit from that knowledge that I DO have.