FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Virginia State Firefighter’s Association joins North American rail-safety operation aimed at reducing preventable deaths and injuries on rail lines
Manassas, Va. (September 22, 2020) – The virginia state firfighter’s association is proud to be joining forces with first responder agencies in the U.S. and Canada today for “Operation Clear Track” — the single largest rail-safety initiative in North America.
Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada — incidents which seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year. The event is held during the annual observance of Rail Safety Week, September 21-27.
In Virginia, there are 1,954 public railroad crossings and about 2,800 private ones according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Virginia ranks 10th in the nation in accidents at rail crossing. It is very important to get these safety messages our to our citizens.
“The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior near tracks and trains, in support of OLI’s mission to save lives,” said Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Executive Director Rachel Maleh.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, first responder agencies will be participating in a virtual Operation Clear Track event this year. These agencies across North America will be promoting rail safety through social media messages, by sharing Operation Lifesaver’s #STOPTrackTragedies public service announcements and other videos, and by posting other rail safety information to their department websites. Participants will also be emphasizing the importance of obeying rail crossing and trespassing laws throughout Rail Safety Week.
For more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track, and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, please visit www.oli.org.
The Virginia State Firefighters Association, founded in 1886, has long served as the champions of Virginia’s fire service organizations and personnel. With more than 10,000 members across the Commonwealth, the VSFA works to provide for better and affordable fire protection in Virginia by advocating for legislative action to benefit Virginia fire departments, rescue squads and support Virginia’s emergency responders. For more information visit www.vsfa.org.
About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, See Tracks? Think Train! provides tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI leads an international observance of Rail Safety Week each September. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube