The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) announced the addition of a full-time fire/rescue liaison in its Rail Operations Control Center. This addition will provide a uniformed fire officer in the “nerve center” of the Metrorail system 40 hours a week to help coordinate emergency communication between Metro and first responders.
"The new fire/rescue liaison at the Rail Operations Control Center gives first responders 'eyes and ears' on Metrorail operations and will serve to further strengthen the coordination between our operations staff and emergency personnel," said Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik. "I want to thank MWCOG Fire Chiefs Chair Marc Bashoor for his leadership and look forward to continuing our productive relationship."
The newly created position is the result of ongoing discussions between Metro and the region’s fire chiefs. In addition to coordinating emergency response, the fire official will also develop policy recommendations and provide supplemental emergency training for rail controllers.
Launched on July 1, 2015, the position is part of an agreement with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Fire Chiefs Committee, chaired by Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.
“The fire/rescue liaison position in the ROCC has already provided crucial support to WMATA and Fire Department incident commanders,” said Bashoor. “In the first couple of days, the liaison provided support for more than two dozen fire and EMS related incidents affecting multiple jurisdictions 911 centers and emergency response operations.”
The COG Fire Chiefs and Metro are committed to ensuring WMATA and Fire/EMS personnel across the National Capital Region continue forming a closer training and operational relationship.
In response to the January 12 incident that occurred in a tunnel near L’Enfant Plaza Station earlier this year, Metro has implemented a number of additional safety measures to improve emergency response, including increased training, emergency drills and enhanced radio testing protocols that provide a real time outage map for controllers and first responders.
View video of MTPD Chief Ronald Pavlik and MWCOG Fire Chiefs Committee Chairman Marc Bashoor inside the ROCC discussing the new fire/rescue liaison position.