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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: June 28, 2017

Loudoun Metrorail Training Simulator Opens

Image of Metrorail training simulator
Loudoun County and Metro officials Wednesday celebrated the opening of the new Metrorail Training Simulator located at the Oliver Robert Dubé Fire and Rescue Training Academy in Leesburg. The simulator will provide innovative training opportunities for first responders and other public safety personnel in preparation for the start of passenger service in Loudoun County on Metro’s Silver Line in 2020.

The ceremony follows the delivery of two decommissioned 4000 series railcars to the academy in April. The cars were donated to Loudoun County by Metro and the county constructed a “training prop,” which includes a 95-foot replica of a rail line with the standard two-track design and the high-voltage third rail that powers the cars in the Metro system.

“We are proud to partner with Loudoun County to provide two of Metro’s 4000-series railcars to train first responders,” said Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Rather than sending these railcars to the scrapyard they are serving a valuable purpose. It’s a win-win for everyone and most importantly for the safety of our customers.”

Metro’s railcars are the latest addition to the training academy—an approximately $1 million capital improvement project—that also includes a flashover simulator, confined spaces simulator, propane car, pavilion, pond access road and concrete/gravel pads for training exercises. The facility provides the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Department with a critical asset for training in realistic environments.

“This simulator is just one of many ways that Loudoun is preparing for the arrival of the Metro Silver Line in 2020,” said Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet. “The acquisition of the rail cars was the culmination of an immense team effort; we are pleased that we can provide this vital training opportunity for first responders in the region.”

The region’s public safety personal routinely collaborate and train at the academy in Loudoun. Training scenarios involving the railcars include: Metrorail-involved mass casualty incidents; mitigation of arcing or smoking insulators; understanding and working alongside the third rail; and multi-agency active shooter drills. The training program will consist of both computer-based and in-person academy classes with hands-on, practical components.

“To provide an effective response to a potential emergency, Fire and Rescue personnel must be operationally familiar with the rail system and all associated equipment,” said Combined Fire-Rescue System Chief Keith Brower. “The arrival of Metro in Loudoun presents a range of emergency scenarios for which this training facility will help us to be ready.”

Fire and Rescue personnel will also undergo training at Metro’s facility in Landover, Maryland to become qualified to train other Loudoun County first responders for Metrorail emergency response.

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View photos from the opening of the simulator on the Loudoun County Government page on Facebook here.
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