News & Events
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.”
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.
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. If you are a reporter on deadline, please contact:
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About Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks. Our team consists of nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety, state coordinators who lead the efforts in all 50 states and a national office in Alexandria, VA, that supports state programs, develops education materials, and creates public awareness campaigns for audiences of all ages.
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