Rail franchises operators & contracts

01.12.05

Rail Care Team to help accident survivors

Train operators First Great Western and First Great Western Link have joined a national rail industry initiative by establishing a Rail Care Team to help survivors in the aftermath of major accidents.

Over 30 volunteers from both companies have been appointed to the care team following an extensive interview and selection programme. They will be trained to help survivors in the hours and days immediately following a train accident or other serious incident.

The team will work closely with emergency services, including police family liaison officers, and local authorities to look after the welfare of survivors.

Rosemary Dewery, family liaison adviser for the Metropolitan Police, said, “Time and time again, Rail Care teams have been an invaluable source of help to police family liaison officers, working with us to make life easier for the survivors of traumatic incidents as well as their families and friends.”

Emergency services and other agencies will provide medical help and counselling for victims of major incidents. The role of the Rail Care Team will be to give practical help such as organising transport, accommodation, emergency clothing, or sorting out domestic problems.

First Great Western’s Customer Relations Manager, Beth Rendle, explained, “Part of the team’s job will be to pick up some of the chores and responsibilities that people may not be able to attend to in the aftermath of an accident, such as doing the shopping, feeding pets or even making sure that children are picked up from school. Knowing that this sort of thing has been taken care of can give people more peace of mind at a stressful time.”

The team is part of a national initiative by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and 12 operating companies now have Rail Care Teams in place. Training is organised to ensure that post0incident care is provided consistently across all train operators.

The care team could be mobilised in the event of any UK train accident.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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