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9/2/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

WMATA preps passengers for emergencies



September marks National Preparedness Month — something Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials are taking to heart by conducting two programs to prepare passengers for emergencies.

Throughout the month, WMATA will host eight lunchtime open houses at different stations to teach passengers about transit-related emergency preparedness. Officials from the Metro Transit Police, System Safety and Risk Protection, and Communications departments will answer questions and address concerns, and distribute preparedness brochures.

In addition, the Metro Transit Police Department is launching a Metro Citizen Corps program to provide agency-specific training, including rail safety, emergency preparation and response, and identification of terrorist activity.

Yesterday, Metro Transit police officers, WMATA employees and a group of area residents who already have participated in specialized training within their local jurisdictions participated in a day-long interactive "train the trainer" session.

In two weeks, WMATA will hold two training sessions to prepare area residents to become members of the Metro Citizen Corps. A third session will focus on identifying criminal and terrorist activity.

"We will train area residents …[to] ensure that they are well-versed in what to do in the event of an emergency in a transit environment," said Transit Police Chief Polly Hanson in a prepared statement.




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