We here are Operation Lifesaver couldn’t get the public rail safety message out to the masses without the dedication and commitment of our valued volunteers. One such volunteer we would like to recognize is Tom Allan, who retired from volunteering this year.
With 39 years working as a railroader for CN and 12 years as an Operation Lifesaver volunteer, Tom’s dedication to public rail safety runs deep. We caught up with Tom and asked him to share his experiences with OL and CN and one last rail safety message
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Tom Allan, spreading the rail safety message.[/caption]
What made you decide to become a volunteer for OL?
I was approached by CN Police.
Why do you think the operation Lifesaver program is important?
People of all ages do not realize the dangers of trains and to make them aware will save lives.
What did you enjoy the most about volunteering?
I love volunteering and helping people, I am also a volunteer with St. John Ambulance and am in my 50th
year of volunteering with them.
What kind of activities do you take part in as a means of promoting rail safety?
Presentations, displays, Hamilton Police Safety Week. I also belonged to a model railway club and had a display setup at every show they did.
When reflecting back on your time as an OL volunteer, are there any moments that really stand out for you?
There’s not one particular moment, but I always enjoyed doing presentations in schools and seeing that both the students and the teachers were amazed at some of the information our program gave them.
What's one thing you'd like Canadians to know about rail safety? What would you like them to think about when they see train tracks and railway property?
The biggest thing is: Stay off railway property and don’t use the tracks as a shortcut! I have always stressed that any time is train time and told people if you see two pieces of rail, assume a train is coming and stay away from the tracks. At a crossing obey the crossing signals, and only cross when you can see clearly both ways down the track.
“Stay off railway property and don’t use the tracks as a short cut!“ —Tom Allan
And now a final word from one of Tom's CN colleagues and Operation Lifesaver peers:
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CN Constable, Richard Di Biase[/caption]
“I met Tom this past spring. Tom completed an entire career with CN as a railroader, working in a number of different departments and locations across Canada in safety critical positions. Even after retiring (from what I recall almost 20+years ago), Tom’s passions continued where he gave another 12 loyal years of service towards OL.
I can call Tom’s commitment to railway safety to be nothing but tireless and dedicated. Tom committed to truly making a difference in his community and beyond over the years by selflessly giving thousands of hours towards public railway safety education.” —Richard Di Biase, CN Police Constable