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Honor Students, Boy Scouts Volunteer At Emergency Drill

Joshua, an Honor Society member and student at Cheltenham High School couldn't wait until the SEPTA's emergency drill was underway. "I have a broken arm, a broken leg and multiple lacerations," he said with a smile as he read from the sheet pinned to his red t-shirt with the words VICTIM printed across the chest. Joshua was at the outbound track area of the Jenkintown Regional Rail Station on Sunday morning, along with other members of the Cheltenham H.S. Honor's Society and members of Boy Scout Troop #33 from Edgehill, PA and Boy Scout Troop #226 from Rockledge, PA. They were all there to play the role of 30 injured victims at the full-scale railroad emergency simulation drill designed to test SEPTA's Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness Plan. The honor students were able to earn community service hours and the boy scouts were able to check off one of the twelve steps needed to qualify for an emergency preparedness badge.

The realistic drill scenario replicated what might occur when, during a severe storm and hazardous road conditions, a stranded passenger train, a diesel fueled work train and an out of control automobile collide. Scott Sauer, George Schreader and Greg Robinson from the Operational Safety Department work for nearly a year designing a scenario that would test and assess SEPTA's capability to execute its Passenger Train Emergency Plan and ensure coordination with community emergency responders. They worked in cooperation with Cheltenham Township, Jenkintown Borough, Abington Township's fire companies and emergency management services.

The emergency drill was conducted in accordance with a federal mandate requiring passenger railroads to conduct a full-scale emergency simulation each calendar year.

"Victims" are marched passed the diesel work train and onto the Siverliner car to take their places and assume their roles

System Safety Investigator Bernie Jones and Director Jim Fox discuss the drill