D.C. firefighters got
a taste of what's its like to work in the bowels of the Amtrak system
during a disaster drill at Union Station Sunday, July 24.
The exercise involved
the supposed derailment and fire of a passenger train in the tunnel
that takes rail traffic beneath the station to points south. A full
box alarm assignment was involved in the scenario.
Fire units wound their
way into the tunnel to find a real train placed there, which included
several different style passenger cars they would encounter when
dealing with the variety of commuter and long haul rail services that
pass thru D.C.
Deep inside the tube,
firefighters hooked up to the standpipe system and searched the train
for victims, as well as simulating dealing with problems such
as killing power, chocking the cars, and shutting down the locomotive.
firefighters exited the hole after the approximately two hour drill,
they were re-hydrated and rehabed by the canteen unit and rehab bus of
the Friendship Fire Association. A debrief followed inside a Union
The exercise was a
joint effort between D.C. Fire and EMS and Amtrak, and included
observers from several other agencies.