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Local first responders participate in simulated railroad incident

By: Kerri Corrado


Area volunteers simulated an accident on the rails. The exercise brought together first responders all throughout Blair County to learn new techniques and to work together to see how well they could react and control a situation.

"Basically the incident is programmed in this area in which this whole team has to manage and get control of everything," President of Compliance Associates William Ferrolie, who facilitated the exercise, said.

The presentation showed video of a train crashing with audio of sirens, followed by local pictures and maps of the scene. The goal was to make the incident as real as possible.

Different scenarios were added to see how well police, fire and EMS would react.

"We provide them with all of the elements of an incident and they will come together to try and see if their plans in the community work," Ferrolie said.

First responders were split into groups like HAZMAT, logistics and operations based on their profession.

"It is very, very important. One of the biggest letdowns in any type of operation is lack of communication and this type of operation will demonstrate that," Emergency Director of Blair County Dan Boyles said.

The training was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency under the Department of Transportation Program for Blair County. Many people agree that this program is important and the training is necessary.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times