Marking Emergency Preparedness Week 2022

When an emergency happens, Canadians depend on paramedics, police officers and firefighters to provide assistance. But to ensure these first responders don’t put their own lives at risk trying to save ours, they need to be prepared for every possible scenario.

One of the scenarios they could face is being called to the scene of an emergency near train tracks or a railway crossing. And if they don’t follow the rail safety rules en route, or aren’t mindful of trains when positioning their equipment near tracks, they risk death or serious injury.

Emergency Preparedness (Week May 1-7, 2022) is an opportunity to ensure that all Canadians, including first responders, take simple steps to prepare for emergencies and unexpected situations. Started by Public Safety Canada in 1996, this national awareness initiative brings together provincial and territorial emergency management organizations to support activities at the local level.

Ensuring emergency responders are rail safe

One of the ways paramedics, police and firefighters can better prepare for emergencies is by watching and experiencing Operation Lifesaver’s Train to Drive virtual-reality (VR) videos. These interactive training videos are designed specifically to test whether first responders know how to stay safe when dealing with emergencies near railways. The videos allow them to make choices in real time around virtual tracks and trains, and to see the results—both good and tragic.

“First responders are important safety partners and they play an essential role when emergencies occur near tracks or trains,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “These videos are a way to help keep them safe, and to ensure that they’re not putting their own lives in jeopardy when they respond to emergencies.”

So if you’re a first responder, take some time this week to check out OL’s Train to Drive videos. By taking a few minutes now, you can become better prepared to safely face an emergency near tracks or trains.

Visit to find out more about Emergency Preparedness Week, and for more resources to help ensure you are prepared for whatever emergency comes your way.