RTD and other agencies hold emergency preparedness drill along G-Line route

Crews evacuated stalled train in exercise
Posted at 2:51 PM, Oct 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-29 12:34:48-04

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – While many wait for RTD’s G-Line to start operations, there was plenty of activity along its tracks on Saturday.

The district, Denver Transit Partners, Arvada Fire and other first responders met at the future Wheat Ridge Ward station on West 50th Place.

For three hours, crews went through a real-time emergency scenario that put 21 mannequins on a stalled commuter train.

“The biggest challenge is to maintain safety,” John Thompson said. 

Thompson is the Executive Project Director for Denver Transit Partners.

The hypothetical situation: A wire was down, and power was out along the G-Line. The train was stalled a distance from the platform. Each of the mannequins dawned a lanyard reflecting the challenges that person was facing.

“While some might be def, some might be blind. So, that leads each responder to the communication difficulties and the assistance that may be needed for the person on the train,” Arvada Fire Battalion Chief Chad Hyatt explained.

He and his crew maneuvered through some unfamiliar challenges.

“This is new to us in Arvada, having the light rail line,” he said.

The three-hour exercise involved the first responders removing the mannequins in the safest way possible.

“We pick a scenario based on our experience of what happens out there, for real,” Thompson said.

The drill was carried out in real-time. Crews waited the same amount of time it would take for first responders to respond to the scene before they continued with the rescue effort.

Saturday’s events were done with the safety of RTD’s millions of riders in mind.

Phillip Lucas with RTD Public Affairs said, “The whole intent of doing these types of safety drills is making our transit system safer for everyone-- Whether you're able-bodied or whether you depend on maybe a walker, or a scooter, or a wheelchair.”