Wednesday night North County Transit District (NCTD) and Pacific Sun Railroad conducted an emergency exercise at an agency rail yard in Escondido.
The exercise scenario simulated a freight rail incident along the Escondido rail corridor that includes an automobile collision and a simulated hazardous material leak. It also tested the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services online communications system, WebEOC.
NCTD Communications Coordinator Eric Sawyer told The Times-Advocate Wednesday night, “Tonight’s exercise was a great opportunity to see first responders and subject matter experts come together and demonstrate their skills and abilities. They successfully accomplished the tasks and we look forward to regrouping in the coming weeks to talk about areas of improvement. These invaluable exercises provide everyone involved a chance to not just put their skills to use but to also learn from the experience. We are grateful to all of the participating agencies and personnel—both at the event and behind the scenes—who made this successful testing and training possible.”
Emergency agencies across the county joined NCTD for this valuable learning experience. Participating agencies included:
•California Public Utilities Commission
•Camp Pendleton Fire Department
•City of Escondido Fire and Police Departments
•City of San Diego Fire Department – Hazardous Materials Team
•County of San Diego Environmental Health/Hazardous Materials Division
•Federal Railroad Administration
•Pacific Sun Railroad (A WATCO Co.)
•Rancho Santa Fe Fire District
•San Diego County Office of Emergency Services
•San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center
•San Diego Sheriff’s Office
•San Marcos Fire Department
•U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Transportation Security Administration
This exercise is part of NCTD’s ongoing commitment to safety, and is required by Federal regulations. It is one in a series of diverse full-scale emergency exercises that NCTD has held and will continue to conduct.
photos courtesy Eric Sawyer, NCTD.