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Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Awards Innovative Rail Safety Competitive Grant for Crossing Safety Campaign in New York State

By Operation Lifesaver

WASHINGTON, DC, April 6, 2023 – Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), will award a $50,000 Innovative Rail Safety Competitive Grant to New York Operation Lifesaver (New York OL). The grant funds a targeted multifaceted education and outreach campaign to schools, school bus drivers, community groups, law enforcement agencies and other first responders to facilitate increased free rail safety presentations for these key audiences.

OLI, the only national non-profit and nationally recognized leader of rail safety education, is dedicated to saving lives by empowering the public to make safe choices near railroad tracks and trains.

“Since 2020, OLI has worked with the FRA to award $210,000 in Innovative Rail Safety Grants. This educational grant allows one OL state program to push the envelope in getting the rail safety message out,” said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. “This innovative New York OL campaign will use social media ads, direct mail outreach and personal follow up to increase the number of free, lifesaving safety presentations delivered in school districts within the state. We are grateful for FRA’s continued partnership on this grant to make communities safer.”

New York Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Phil Merens said,“This campaign will feature a mixture of sophisticated ad techniques, creative use of technology and personal outreach. A targeted online campaign highlighting the need for rail safety education will begin during the summer. Soon after, educators, first responders, community groups and others will receive video greeting cards by mail, which will play a video sharing Operation Lifesaver’s history and our ability to provide free safety information to any audience. Everyone receiving the video greeting cards will be contacted to schedule a rail safety presentation.”

Merens noted that the project includes social media advertising during Rail Safety Week, which this year will be held September 18-24 throughout North America.

“Our partnership with OLI, including this Innovative Rail Safety Grant, underscores our agency’s highest priority: safety,” said James Payne, Staff Director of the FRA Grade Crossing and Trespasser Outreach Division. “FRA is pleased to continue supporting imaginative grant projects like these.”

The grant was awarded through a competitive process based on criteria including a demonstrated safety need, concept creativity and the ability to scale projects.


About Operation Lifesaver 

Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to stopping track tragedies. For more than 50 years, Operation Lifesaver programs have saved lives via public awareness campaigns and a network of trained volunteers across the U.S. who give free presentations encouraging safe behavior near railroad tracks and trains. The Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) national office supports the efforts of state programs in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Explore OLI's virtual library of rail safety materials on the website. Learn more about OLI, the annual observance of Rail Safety Week, how to request a free presentation and become a volunteer.  Follow OLI on social media via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.


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