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24/7 Software Blog

This Is How Your Transportation Authority Should Manage Incidents

by 24/7 Software / August 24, 2017

“A commuter train outside Philadelphia smashed into a parked train car, hurting 42 passengers early Tuesday, but an official said none of the injuries were life-threatening,” according to Scott Neuman’s recent NPR article entitled “More Than 40 People Injured In Train Crash Near Philadelphia.”

Neuman explains, “The collision happened just after midnight at the 69th Street Terminal Center in Upper Darby, Pa., about 10 miles west of Philadelphia, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority spokeswoman Heather Redfern told Reuters.”

“The Norristown High Speed Line train was pulling into the station when it hit a second, unoccupied train car. The operator was among those injured, she said,” Neuman writes.

"The injuries appeared to be non-life threatening for all passengers and the operator," Redfern said. ‘It's all under investigation at this point,” the article continues.

According to the article, “The Associated Press quotes Upper Darby Mayor Nicholas Micozzie as saying that four of those hurt were in critical condition.”

“In February, four people were injured at the same terminal when a train smashed into the back of another train. And, in 2015, an Amtrak train derailed near Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring 180,” Neuman explains further in the article.

We’re grateful to know this incident did not result in any deaths.

But, it did get us thinking about how your transportation authority is handling events like this.

And, how you should be handling these incidents.

A Look at Your Current Operation

Let’s think about a scenario like the one from our introduction. A commuter train crashes into a parked train car.

That’s a lot of moving parts already, right?

Your team is quickly asking a lot of questions before the official investigation even begins.

  • Have we confirmed what happened?
  • Who’s involved? How many people were involved?
  • Who is the operator? Who is the staff on this train?
  • Is everyone accounted for? Are passengers missing?
  • What’s the state of the equipment?
  • Who needs to respond? Any particular departments or groups?
  • Were there any witnesses to the incident? Where should we ask them to remain?
  • Do we need to triage severe injuries before Fire Rescue/Medical arrives?

Okay, we have to stop because this list can get much longer.

You should finish this list, and then start getting the real details. But, how are you getting these details?

Do you have a supervisor and staff walking the scene to gather information with notepads and a digital camera?

There are a lot of variables here and a lot that can get missed.

42 injured passengers is a severe liability concern that needs to be properly documented and should’ve been – hopefully – communicated to all need-to-know personnel.

Would it have been shared amongst your station?

If not, we get it; it’s stressful and overwhelming to think about.

But, don’t worry because you can change your state with efficient incident management.

Your Transportation Authority Needs Incident Management

Now, let’s look at how we can transform your operation.

Creating an efficient incident management process for your transportation authority is possible with technology.

Of course, you’ll need to read up on Proactive Operations here to ensure your strategy and infrastructure or intact first.

But, once you have that down – you can skyrocket your efficiency.

Here’s what you need to manage your operation, and to expertly handle high-priority incidents like the one we discuss in this article.

  1. Incident Management System
  2. Incident Management Mobile Apps

1. Incident Management System

Your incident management system (IMS) is your centralized repository for managing incident information.

Everything you need to manage, know, and track is available here.

Details of what happened during and after an incident are documented and stored through your web-based system.

  • Incident type
  • Location
  • Response times
  • Associated persons
  • Witness statements

Now, if a passenger or bystander takes legal action, you’ll have the digital, accurate, and legible documentation to hold a solid defense in court.

You have no case without proper documentation. This system helps you eliminate the issue.

2. Incident Management Mobile Apps

Real-time information is no longer the wave of the future. It’s now.

Mobile apps afford the real-time awareness, communication, and documentation necessary to keep important details from slipping through the cracks.

Whether you’re using a mobile phone or tablet, your front-line transportation staff have a plethora of capabilities – at their fingertips.

The moment an incident occurs, they can use the easy-to-see and understand images on a mobile device to enter an incident in seconds.

Per the incident, all need-to-know departments and individuals are notified to respond.

Communication about the incident begins instantly.

Once the incident is reported, all investigations can begin because everyone is already arriving at the scene.

Use the incident management mobile apps to document details and capture passenger and witness statements, inclusive of photos, audio, video, and signatures.

Now, no stone is left unturned, and most importantly, your operation shows the public how proactive they are!

Over to You

42 injured victims might be a rare occurrence for a transportation authority.

But, it can happen, and so can the low to medium priority incidents between. You must be ready for anything that could happen.

You must be proactive, and you need an incident management process in place to achieve the effectiveness required.

So, are you ready to manage all incidents like a proactive operation?

Download our free eBook about incident management software

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