25.5 Conducting joint incident response and management exercises

This measure refers to joint exercises which are conducted to test the incident response plans for IMs   and RUs  .

Exercises are a way of testing incident response plans and should be regularly organised by IMs   and RUs   to ensure that:

  • Plans remain effective;
  • The necessary resources (people and equipment) are available; that the people are trained to perform their assigned tasks, and that the equipment is in proper working order;
  • IM and RU organisations and individuals understand their allocated roles and apply these properly;
  • IM and RU cooperation is effective;
  • Cooperation between responders, e.g. between the LP  , external incident responders on site, the OCC   and external incident responders control centres, is efficient and effective;
  • Incident response arrangements are effective in difficult to access locations, e.g. sub-surface stations and cuttings. Deficiencies in plans identified during exercises can be corrected as soon as possible.

IMs   and RUs   may seek to involve external incident responders in these exercises, to test the robustness of planned interfaces and a co-ordinated response. In addition to testing their own plans, IMs   and RUs   need to liaise with and support relevant exercises organised by external incident responders. Information may be obtained and lessons learned by attending other organisations’ exercises.
The key issues in managing the actions of responders called to respond to trespassing incidents with casualties, attempted suicides or suicides include the following:

  • IM’s actions. The key issues in leading a coordinated rail industry response include, among others:
    • Assistance in providing the responding forces with precise directions to the location of the incident, the access point to the railway, receiving them at the site and briefing them on site safety issues;
    • Ensuring the safety of the passengers and the responders;
    • Briefing responders on the known circumstances of the incident;
    • Providing infrastructure engineering support;
    • Fully cooperating with the police investigation;
    • Considering with the police whether partial traffic operation is possible;
    • Seeking the earliest possible restoration of routine traffic service;
    • Liaising with third parties to provide necessary services, e.g. buses, mortician, cleaning services provider.
  • Police’s actions. Key issues in managing the response include, among others:
    • Arriving at the location and safely entering the incident site;
    • Liaising with the IM and RU to facilitate their on site activities;
    • Safe working on site - rail operations and handling the deceased;
    • Preserving the scene, collecting evidence including interviewing the train driver and other witnesses to determine whether the death is suspicious, non-suspicious ( refuting suspicion of third party involvement in the incident) or unexplained;
    • Identifying the deceased person;
    • Maintaining evidence integrity;
    • Establishing contact with decision makers who are not present at the site (general prosecution, judge on call);
    • Determining any need to undertake a daylight search of the area - with train operation safety implications.
  • RU’s response. The key issues in managing the response include, among others:
    • Ensuring the passengers’ safety and welfare;
    • Ensuring incident responders safety on the railway;
    • Fully cooperating with the police investigation facilitating interview of the driver whilst taking account of the traumatic experience involved;
    • Providing rolling stock engineering support;
    • Providing a substitute driver and ensuring welfare of relieved driver;
    • Providing means of transport for passenger evacuation.
  • First responders’ response (fire brigade, EMS  ). The key issues in managing the response include, among others:
    • Arriving at the location and safely entering the incident site;
    • Ensuring actions are carried out safely at the incident site;
    • Liaising with the police, the IM and RU, also other incident responders to facilitate their response

IMs   and RUs   may do this as observers, even when not directly involved in the plan being exercised.

As an input to ensuring staff training and competence, IMs   and RUs   should keep records of staff members who attend exercises.

last update: 2014-09-17 Print