First Responders Drilled On Train Crash Protocol In Hartford Simulation | Connecticut Public Radio

First Responders Drilled On Train Crash Protocol In Hartford Simulation

Nov 5, 2018

Hartford firefighters and other area first responders went through a simulation of a head-on train collision Saturday.

It was the first training of its kind since the state launched CTrail’s Hartford Line in June.

Reginald Freeman, Hartford’s fire chief and emergency management director, said he was grateful for the opportunity to drill.

“For us, being able to get hands-on to be able to isolate the power of the train, make sure the brakes are properly applied, to go through to conduct search-and-rescue, provide EMS care for a mass casualty incident, that opportunity does not come around often enough,” said Freeman.

A CTrail train "hits" a G&W freighter head-on during Saturday's mass casualty train wreck drill on Windsor Street in Hartford. A similar simulation will be held annually.
Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Once a dispatcher notifies the Department of Transportation about an incident, it’s that department’s job to inform the public and communicate with various state agencies.

“For us, it’s about whether the connection’s right from the dispatching center through the entire team and that team is large,” said transportation Commissioner Jim Redeker. “We’ve got Amtrak. We’ve got CTrail. We’ve got the DOT folks. We’ve got press. We’ve got the governor’s office. Everybody has to know. That is really the job that the department of transportation has is to make sure that entire communication protocol is in play.”

Redeker said that the department will conduct this kind of exercise annually. A report based on notes taken at the scene will be available to the department and first responders. Also, a video crew filmed the day’s events, so trainees could look back at that.