Explosive rail cars, evacuation drills, control centers and overturned trains — all of these made for one exciting afternoon for a group of Webster University Business and Organizational Security Management (BOSM) students and faculty.
The group was led by David H. Gilmore, CPP, BOSM area mentor for Webster’s National Capital Region. They toured the Carmen E. Turner Maintenance and Training Facility at Metro Headquarters in Landover, Md., for a dynamic “Webster Values” experience for students in the region.
A smoke-filled train car with mock victims, missing and distorted train pieces and even flames provided a firsthand encounter with rescue missions on trains. The group was allowed to walk through the Emergency Response Training Tunnel, the same simulation that police, rescue workers and firefighters from a variety of agencies train with every year.
From the training rail car, the group traveled to “The Rollover Rig,” a train car tilted at a 45 degree angle. The experience drove home for students just how difficult it is just to keep your balance and walk through the train — even with no smoke and no victims to save — without falling over.
The rig serves as another emergency evacuation simulator where rescuers are trained on evacuating the victims of a crash when the train has turned over on its side. This simulator can be tilted up to 90 degrees and filled with smoke and extreme temperatures, just like the training tunnel.
Students and faculty were then guided to the right-of-way training tracks where they learned how to evacuate a train and use the Metro’s emergency service cart.
The final stop on the tour was the Metro Transit Police’s Mobile Command Center, a state-of-the-art vehicle that can hold up to 12 police personnel and Metro officials in the event of an extreme situation involving Metro, such as the tragic crash on the Red Line in 2009. The command center is equipped with stations for police officials, a television, cameras, a computer, printer, communications area and a situation room.
The Turner Facility is also equipped with an audio/visuals lab, an elevator/escalator training lab, farecard and faregate training, and a bus simulator lab. All told, the Webster BOSM students and faculty experienced a dynamic tour and a few difficult hours in the life of Metro authorities, rescue workers, and volunteers.
Submitted by Angela Young, regional community relations coordinator