Photo: Mara Lavitt / Hearst Connecticut Media File Photo
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NEW HAVEN — Don’t be alarmed.
That’s the message the state Department of Transportation shared in noting it will hold a simulated rail accident training drill from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 14) in New Haven
“The drill, which will appear and sound realistic, will take place as part of ongoing safety training, practice, reinforcement, and refinement exercises designed to achieve the highest level of safety along the CT rail Hartford Line and Shore Line East,” the DOT said in a release.
The simulated accident will take place at the Belle Dock rail yard at 435 East St.
The drill will include volunteer passengers, including Boy Scout Troop 7 of Clinton, who will act as passengers injured as the result of a simulated head-on collision with another train, the release said.
Further, the event will include calls to on-duty emergency responders, fire and police, and the Sponsor Hospital Area Response Physicians, or SHARP-TEAM, “who will travel to the scene and work to rescue simulated accident victims.”
The simulation “is designed to reinforce and fine-tune the efficacy of emergency response protocols of train crews, dispatchers, first responders, and others, as well as the coordination and real-life application of communication and chain-of-command protocols,” the release noted.
The drill will supplement extensive and ongoing training for all involved and when it’s done, a debrief session will allow participants to share observations and discuss insights to disseminate and reinforce vital information, the release said.
The drill is required by the Federal Railroad Administration, and is “an important component of CTDOT’s ongoing safety training and reinforcement practice.”
“As we undertake this important exercise, the Connecticut Department of Transportation would like to alert the public and media to assure them that while it may appear to be a real rail accident, it is not. We do not want to cause undue worry,” said CTDOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti, in the release. “We are releasing this information to prevent unnecessary public concern and to also allow the participants of this important drill to focus on their duties fully, in order to learn and provide the safest service to the public.”
Also: CTDOT requests that media and the public not attempt to be onsite for the simulation training exercise so first responders, volunteers, train operator personnel, and other key parties can focus on the exercise fully. However, CTDOT will respond to public and media inquiries regarding the exercise, including providing additional information, interviews with participants, and photo and video content of the event.