Rail

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

FRA makes $244M available for rail funding

The FY19 NOFO will fund projects that increase rail transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability.

NJ TRANSIT program to promote TOD projects

By tying mixed use developments to the organization’s rail stations and bus lines via TOD, officials believe municipalities can enhance residents’ quality of life.

DCTA adding service after full PTC implementation

With the new train schedule, there will be improved A-train frequency all day.

Calif.'s Metrolink hits record ridership for FY2019

This milestone marks five years in a row of ridership increases on the Metrolink system

LIRR unveils first customer lactation pod at Penn Station

The first public lactation pod in the MTA system was installed this week near the start of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

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

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation