“Operation 60 Minutes” a Success
On June 21 and 22, the Norfolk County Fire Department conducted their annual Fire School in Courtland, Ontario.
This annual school offers specialized first responder training to fire departments across Norfolk County. Surrounding counties and police are also invited to attend the training.
This year, as part of the curriculum, there was a training session conducted on railway dangerous goods response called “Responding to Railway Dangerous Goods Incidents” followed the next day with an emergency exercise called “Operation 60 Minutes”.
The section “Responding to Railway Dangerous Goods Incidents”, was an 8 hour course that educates first responders on what to expect from railways during an incident and how to safety approach railway properties and operations. The focus of this training surrounded the transportation of dangerous goods by rail.
On day number 2, the responders were presented with Operation Lifesaver’s “Live to Help Another Day” safety video for first responders. Shortly thereafter a simulated emergency 911 dispatch was received to respond to the St. Thomas and Eastern (Trillium Railway) yard in Tillsonburg involving a level crossing accident resulting in a train derailment involving dangerous goods.
With the clock ticking, first responders were given 60 minutes to arrive at the site, set up a security perimeter, identify dangerous goods involved in the incident and set response objectives and priorities. (See photo of responders using binoculars to identify railway tank cars).
Once the exercise was concluded, a hands-on tour was conducted of the railway yard, a locomotive and railway rolling stock.
At the end of this training, local emergency responders have a better understanding of railway operations which results in increased safety for responders, railway personnel and the general public.
This course was presented by Trillium Rail, RAC and CN.
Manager, Dangerous Goods
The Railway Association of Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada