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Posner Foundation donates funds to Operation Lifesaver projects


Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) has received a $100,000 donation from the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh that will be used to educate the public about making safer choices near tracks and trains, the rail safety organization announced yesterday.

The donation will help fund four projects, including one through which OLI will work with outside experts to understand and appropriately communicate suicide prevention initiatives, OLI officials said in a press release.

OLI will work with the Federal Railroad Administration's Trespass and Suicide Dashboard to target U.S. locations and tailor prevention messages to those communities, they said.

Henry Posner III, a foundation trustee, said the foundation is proud to support OLI's efforts to reduce fatalities and injuries at grade crossings and railroad rights of way, as well as with suicide prevention, according to OLI. Posner is chairman of the Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. and Railroad Development Corp.

The donation also will fund the distribution of a public service announcement (PSA) about emergency notification system signs, the blue-and-white signs posted at crossings. The signs feature a phone number to call in an emergency to reach railroad dispatchers to provide location information so approaching trains can be stopped. The PSA will be distributed digitally to news outlets across the country.

Additionally, the gift will be used to help support a competitive grant program that funds public education by Operation Lifesaver state programs, as well as a new initiative to support rail-safety volunteer efforts.

"This gift generous gift will make a tremendous impact on our ability to share our valuable safety messages," said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh.

Railroad Development Corp. has supported OLI over the years, ranging from Iowa Interstate employees' service as community outreach volunteers, to Estonian Railways' support of Operation Lifesaver Estonia, OLI officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/8/2019