e-learning first responders
Photo: Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

Free for first responders: rail-crossing safety training

May 23, 2018

Washington — Operation Lifesaver has launched a free online railroad-crossing safety training program for first responders.

Developed in cooperation with first responders, the training offers interactive instruction for law enforcement and fire and emergency personnel in four units:

  • Railroad basics – identifying train cars, signs and signals
  • Crossing challenge – a virtual trip to a rail-crossing incident
  • Safety search – effective response to rail safety risks
  • Incident response – managing rail emergencies

According to Operation Lifesaver, about 80,000 emergency response vehicles are on U.S. roads daily, driving over approximately 200,000 rail crossings. The organization emphasizes that a train always has the right of way and should not be expected to stop quickly enough to avoid a collision with an emergency vehicle. When traveling at 55 mph, the average freight train needs at least 1 mile to stop.

Operation Lifesaver interim President Wende Corcoran said in an April 2 press release that the program “brings attention to the choices first responders often make around tracks and trains and is intended to help them safely traverse highway-rail intersections.”

“First responders and emergency vehicle drivers are an extremely important target audience because of the high consequences of an emergency vehicle-train collision,” Corcoran added.