Amtrak training to include mock derailment

Exercises give crews opp to learn without danger

PENDLETON, Ky - There will be a slew of injured victims, several first-responders racing to the scene by water, air and land, and a derailed passenger train—sounds like a disaster, but it’s all in the effort to train for emergency situations.

Pendleton County Emergency Management will conduct an Amtrak train derailment training exercise at Carmeuse Lime and Stone mine, located at 9043 KY 154, on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The training exercise will take place on a sidetrack of the CSX rail line. Amtrak will provide rail cars to be used in the exercise. And leading up to training, Amtrak will teach a 4-day course on rail safety and train accidents response.

“It’s just like anything you do, you want to be trained in what you do. And the best way to do that is bring everyone together to experience what they would really do in a simulated environment, instead of training on the fly,” said Mike Moore, director of emergency management for Pendleton County.

Since the county has rails running throughout the county—including Amtrak that runs three miles along the Ohio River in North Pendleton County and a CSX Rail that runs freight traffic through Pendleton County from Corbin, Ky., to Cincinnati—the training will allow first-responder teams to learn in a controlled environment rather than when disaster strikes.

“When the real event happens, they [will] have a starting point,” said Moore.

To add realism, several volunteers will be ‘victims’ of the derailment and will be made to appear as if they were hurt. This, Moore said, will provide emergency responders with the realistic scenario of dealing with an overwhelming number of injuries.

Emergency vehicles, fire trucks, a mass casualty trailer, ambulances, police cruisers, medical helicopters, search and rescue will be part of the training. 

When multiple victims are involved, said Moore, it’s important to have as many rescuers involved as possible.

First-responders who will be participating:

Pendleton County Emergency Management
Pendleton County 911 Dispatch
Pendleton County Ambulance Service
Pendleton County Sheriff’s Office
Pendleton County Search and Rescue
Pendleton County Constables
Pendleton County Fiscal Court
Northern Pendleton County Fire Department
Falmouth Fire Department
Falmouth Police Department
Three Rivers Health Department
Butler Police Department
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
American Red Cross
Carmeuse Lime and Stone Mine Rescue Team
Amtrak National Rail Railroad Passenger Corp.
CSX railroad
UC Health - Air Care

In past years, the county has come together for training on flooding and tornadoes. It was that training that helped rescue crews when tornadoes ripped through parts of Northern Kentucky including Pendleton County in March 2012.

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