Operation Lifesaver debuts volunteer management system

Posted on December 4, 2013

Following months of technological investment, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) unveiled a new system to recruit and manage its volunteers, who provide rail safety and anti-trespassing education to professional drivers, schools, new drivers and other community groups around the country.

“From our traditional corps of railroad employees to rail fans to businesses that employ drivers to regular citizens who want to make their communities safer, the Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteer (OLAV) program is open to everyone, and it’s open for business,” said Wende Corcoran, OLI VP, who shepherded the program from its infancy.

After completing an online application, people who want to become OLAVs attend an online training called the “The AVE,” for authorized volunteer education. It’s self-paced and available 24/7 but must be completed within 30 days.

After completing The AVE, the appropriate OLI state coordinator conducts an in-person or videoconference meeting with the new recruit. From there, the new authorized volunteer can conduct safety presentations, volunteer on safety trains, work at exhibit booths and volunteer in other capacities.

OLAVs will have access to an extensive digital library of OLI-approved rail safety education materials — videos, e-learning programs, flyers, posters, brochures and other media — to deliver to audiences of every demographic. These include OLI material suitable to elementary, middle and high schoolers, adults, new drivers, and professional and school bus drivers.

“We’re designing new OLAV materials to be used in person with volunteers, or to be independently viewed online by anyone,” said Corcoran. “Operation Lifesaver’s core safety messages are embedded in the materials volunteers use. That means whether a volunteer is leading a safety meeting for professional truck drivers, or someone is simply viewing a brochure or fact sheet on our website, everyone gets the same consistent message about navigating rail crossings safely and the importance of staying off rail property outside of a designated crossing.”

The volunteer recruitment push comes on the heels of a challenge by OLI’s board of directors to reach more people in coming years and make it easier for people to access rail safety education.

A recent United Way research report revealed that chief among the problems nonprofits face in managing volunteers is effectively measuring the impact of volunteers’ contributions. OLAV overcomes this challenge with a fully integrated online dashboard, through which volunteers report the hours they spend on volunteer activities, as well as the numbers and types of audiences they are reaching.

Moreover, state coordinators are charged with keeping track of even social media hits that result from volunteers’ efforts. In addition, state OL programs annually recognize their volunteers, and every other year an outstanding volunteer receives the national F. Tom Roberts Memorial Volunteer Award.

RELATED: "2013 Women In Transportation: Joyce Rose."

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Daktronics announces $3.2M NYCT signage order

The multi-colored LED displays, part of the subway system’s Public Address Customer Information System, will feature next train arrival and destination information as well as graphical information. A text to speech function aids visually impaired transit riders with clear and easy to access messaging.

Chicago's Metra completes charging station installation

To further enhance the agency’s customer connectivity options, Metra will also be installing free Wi-Fi in the waiting areas of downtown stations within 45 days, and it recently announced plans to test Wi-Fi on 11 cars systemwide before January 2016.

MBTA to deploy GIRO's HASTUS-Rail software

Keolis selected HASTUS-Rail after receiving on-site demonstrations of the software handling various scenarios that showed significant efficiency gains, cost savings and flexibility to adapt to Keolis’ operations, including compliance with the FRA’s hours of service regulations, according to the company.

Wabtec acquires Faiveley Transport

The strategic combination will create one of the world’s largest public rail equipment companies, with revenues of about $4.5 billion and a presence in all key freight rail and passenger transit geographies worldwide. 

Cummins ships first QSK95 engine for the rail market

The engine, rated at 4400 hp (3281 kW) will be delivered to Siemens® manufacturing facility in Sacramento, Calif., where it will be installed into a Charger® locomotive.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close