Region 1 Operation Lifesaver Programs Convene Biennial Workshop

Mystic, Conn. — More than 100 rail safety experts will gather for the Region 1 Operation Lifesaver (OLI) Railroad Safety Workshop Sept. 16 - 18 to exchange ideas, network and receive training on new OLI programs.   Hosted by Operation Lifesaver Vermont State Coordinator and Region 1 Representative Nancee Barney, along with New Jersey State Coordinator Todd Hirt and Maine State Coordinator Fred Hirsch, the three-day gathering will feature training for those who manage OLI’s volunteers, a keynote address by OLI President & CEO Joyce Rose and sessions covering the latest in rail crossing incidents and trespassing.

“This meeting is an opportunity to share best practices in rail safety education,” said Barney. “Not only will we have the opportunity to compare notes with other state coordinators in the region, but our most vital partners, like the railroads, area transit agencies, state departments of transportation and others will be on hand to hear about our work and share important information with us.”

Region 1 includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey,New York, Rhode Island and VermontOperation Lifesaver Canada will also be represented at the conference.

Rose will update attendees on the incidence of train-vehicle collisions and rail trespass in the region – and introduce new OLI products, including new online training for all volunteers, a school bus driver e-learning tool that will make its debut at the end of the year and grant opportunities for state OLI programs.

“The past year has been a season of exciting changes for Operation Lifesaver,” said Rose. “I’m excited to share all that’s been going on and get our messages in front of these critical stakeholders.”

The workshop will also feature a panel discussion on rail trespassing solutions and will include a representative from Genesee & Wyoming Railroad, Amtrak police, and a Department of Homeland Security Surface Transportation Security inspector. Federal Railroad Administration officials will discuss outreach programs, and a program manager from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center will present an update on a major New Jersey grade crossing project.

One of the highlights of the conference will be the presentation of the Operation Lifesaver Champion Award to Dan Di Tota, former national director of Operation Lifesaver Canada, for outstanding service. Di Tota, now an investigator/technical coordinator at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, is a former locomotive engineer with more than 35 years of experience with Canadian Pacific Railway and the Railway Association of Canada.  He managed the Canadian Operation Lifesaver program from January 2001 to March 2013.

“The OLI Champion Award means so much to me,” said Di Tota. “It reminds me of all the good efforts to improve rail safety over the years, and of the friends and colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure of working. It’s about great people working together and believing in a great cause. I’m confident for the future of the program, with so many dedicated people who are resolved to complete the mission.”

Operation Lifesaver regional workshops take place every other year. OLI’s next major gathering will be its biennial Leadership Conference, May 2014, which will convene 49 state coordinators, partner organizations and international safety experts for training sessions, safety updates and networking. 

 

About Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

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Operation Lifesaver, Inc. understands the importance of the news media’s role in helping the public make safe decisions around tracks and trains.

To request further information about Operation Lifesaver’s activities, or for additional safety information, please contact our national headquarters office at 703-739-0308 or 800-537-6224. If you are a reporter on deadline, please contact:

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on rail property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety. Our national office in Alexandria, VA, supports state programs, developing videos, educational brochures, instructional information and other materials for audiences of all ages. Our state coordinators are located in all 50 states.

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Save the Date: 2014 Leadership Workshop May 14-15, 2014

Operation Lifesaver state program leaders, authorized volunteers, coaches, trainers, presenters and partners: Put this on your calendar! May 14-15, 2014 are the dates for our next Leadership Workshop, which will be held at the Embassy Suites,1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The theme of this must-attend event for rail safety advocates is "See Tracks? Think Train!"

Be There

Join us as we explore the latest information and tools for reducing vehicle-train collisions and pedestrian rail trespass incidents in the U.S and around the world.

A daylong session for Operation Lifesaver state coordinators will held on May 13; OL coaches and trainers will have a special training session on the morning of May 14.

The Leadership Workshop starts at 1 p.m. on May 14 and concludes with a dinner on the evening of May 15.

More information will be available soon! Visit www.oli.org for updates.