For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer
Laura.Rinehart@loudoun.gov or 571-233-1649
December 5, 2018
For Immediate Release:
Fire and Rescue Metrorail Training Simulator Wins National Award
Tuesday, December 4, 2018, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors commended Loudoun County Fire and Rescue's achievement of a national award for their state-of-the-art Metrorail Training Simulator. Fire and rescue was one of four County agencies who won 2018 achievement awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo’s Annual Achievement Awards Program seeks to recognize and share innovative county government programs.
The impending arrival of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metro Silver Line created a need for a specialized training facility and program to prepare fire and rescue personnel to safely and effectively respond to Metrorail related emergencies. Leadership from Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (LCFR) determined that constructing a Metrorail Training Simulator within Loudoun County would provide the most efficient opportunity to offer essential training to first responders.
Fire and rescue staff researched the necessary steps to create a 95-foot replica of WMATA’s double track system, complete with third rail sensors and high voltage signage, to mimic the Metro Silver Line's track and railcar infrastructures. LCFR and the Loudoun County Department of Transportation and Critical Infrastructure coordinated with WMATA to arrange the donation and delivery of two decommissioned 1000-series WMATA railcars.
Loudoun's Metrorail Training Simulator, located in Leesburg at the Oliver Robert "O.R." Dubé Fire and Rescue Training Academy, is the only such simulator in Virginia and the entire National Capital Region. The simulator trains firefighters how to safely respond to various emergency scenarios while taking critical safety precautions required to operate around the system's 3rd rail power. The simulator also provides a realistic environment to conduct multi-agency drills with other fire and rescue departments, fire marshals and law enforcement personnel.
"I'm extremely proud of our staff and the hard work they put into this project," said System Chief Keith Johnson. "Having the Metrorail Training Simulator at our Academy not only ensures Loudoun's firefighters are prepared for these emergencies but also allows us to offer the same critical training to our neighboring jurisdictions."
For additional information about the Metrorail Training Simulator please contact Public Information Officer Laura Rinehart via email at Laura.Rinehart@loudoun.gov or call 571-233-1649.