Sunday, March 30, 2014

W. Pa. Vol. Firefighter Dies during search for missing woman near railroad Tracks more questions than answers.

Young Wood Pa. is  an old railroad town in Westmoreland County   it even has a railroad museum. But it is also known for its volunteer fire depts K9 Search and Rescue Team .
They where recently called to a search for a missing woman in East Pittsburgh Pa. in Allegheny County  another town with 2  railroads passing thru it  the Norfolk and Southerns old PA Railroad  Main Line which goes up thru the Turtle Creek Valley to Trafford where there is a major inter-modal truck facility and the Union Railroad which serves the nearby US Steel Edgar Thompson Plant  in next door Braddock.
and ironically a railroad train would take the life of a 57 year old father of 2  volunteer firefighter. N&S
Trains come thru this valley at about 40 MPH  on three different tracks past whats left of the old Westinghouse Electric complex now an industrial park  so any search in this area it is imperative to be aware of and stay away from the tracks at all cost.there can be a train on any of the and running in opposite directions.
Man line Norfolk Southern

A snarl of tracks bridges and trains

With this in mind how this volunteer was struck and killed is still a mystery and plenty of questions will need to also be answered  and investigated such as was N&S notified a search was going on so trains would be slowed down and give extra warning signals.
Where volunteers given full instructions on how trains run in the valley and where they given  full safety instructions  and  reflective vests and warning flares/beacons  etc.  to warn approaching trains when it came to crossing tracks if they had to.
Well it appears we already know railroad was not notified of Saturday search according to railroad.

On KDKA radio the chief running the incident came on and even admitted  he did not double check had call been made he relied on Police telling him they did and that some trains had slowed down he thought.

Why did he not double check and even better not moved on the search till a railroad supervisor was on site with radios to communicate directly with the trains.  especially in fact you could have trains coming from opposite directions at same time which appears to be a factor in this tragic accident which did not have to happen.

When the investigation is done and all is said in the reports will anything change ? No because people including chiefs are not held accountable for there actions. After all he is a volunteer here to help like everyone else . Bull Shit.
Like I always  say the " Fire Service is its own worst enemy" when are we going to start holding people accountable for there actions and banning them from holding further offices in Fire Service  and charging them with negligence  instead of just writing up reports which get published into study's ?
How many more firefighter's need to die for no good reason?

Let me tell you this had this been a industrial plant and a supervisor told workers its OK to work on tracks train is called off and he had not done his job properly he would be cited and penalized by OSHA with possible loss of job and any certifications he holds and he could face criminal  and civil negligence charges why is it different for fighters. ?

Update : it appears missing woman had already drowned before the search started that day

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