September 22, 2021
OTTAWA – Every day, paramedics, police officers and firefighters provide critical assistance to Canadians in emergencies. But if those emergencies occur near rail crossings or tracks, first responders could be putting their own lives at risk if they don’t follow the rail safety rules en route to scenes, and aren’t mindful of trains when positioning their equipment near tracks.
Today, as part of Rail Safety Week 2021 (September 20 to 26), Operation Lifesaver Canada (OL) is launching three new Train to Drive virtual-reality (VR) videos designed specifically for emergency responders. These new interactive training videos are designed to test whether police, paramedics, and firefighters know how to stay safe when responding to emergencies near railways.
“First responders are important safety partners and they play an essential role when emergencies occur,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “We produced these videos to help keep them safe, and to ensure that they’re not putting their own lives in jeopardy when they respond to emergencies near tracks and trains.”
The three new Train to Drive videos allow emergency responders to make choices in real time around virtual railway tracks and trains, and to see the results—both good and tragic—without putting their own safety at risk. The videos are the newest addition to OL’s Train to Drive program, which already includes two VR training videos aimed at all drivers, one specifically for bus and truck drivers, and another for agricultural workers.
You can experience OL’s Train to Drive videos by visiting TraintoDrive.ca and clicking the appropriate video link. Whether you’re a new or seasoned driver, a professional driver, a farm worker, or an emergency responder, keeping yourself safe around railway tracks is about staying alert and knowing the rules.
Operation Lifesaver Canada is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA Rail, Metrolinx, exo, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. Through its national network of Rail Safety Ambassadors, partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, and innovative tools such as its virtual-reality Look. Listen. Live. campaign, Operation Lifesaver Canada works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of trespassing on railway property and failing to exercise caution at rail crossings. Canadians can keep up-to-date on the latest rail safety news by visiting operationlifesaver.ca.