IISTPS Report 96-1
(Reprinted in 2001)
Norman Y. Mineta
International Institute for
Surface Transportation Policy Studies
Created by Congress in 1991
1. Report No FHWA/CA/OR-96-1
2. Government Accession No.
3. Recipients Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Terrorism in Surface Transportation: A Symposium
5. Report Date
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author: IISTPS (Transcript)
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
California Department of Transportation
New Technology and Research, MS-83
P.O. Box 942873
Sacramento, Ca. 94273-0001
10. Work Unit No.
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
California Department of Transportation
Office of Research- MS4
400 7thStreet, SW Sacramento, CA 94273-0001;
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
This document is a transcript of a symposium held on March 15, 1996 as part of the IISTPS charter of continuing education in the area of surface transportation policy.
The topic for this symposium was selected to help meet the need for awareness of, and preparedness for, possible terrorist attacks on the surface transportation systems within the United States and the world.
The expert panel consisted of the following individuals:
Š Tom Savage, Chief Security Officer NY Transit Authority.
Š Patrick Webb, Supervisory Special Agent, Counter-Terrorism Squad, FBI.
Š Ernest R. Frazier, Chief of Police, Amtrak
Š Denis Jackson, VP for Technical Operations, American Medical Response West, Inc.
A question and answer period followed the formal presentations.
17. Key Words: Derailments; Security; Security Measures; Transportation Safety; Terrorism;
18. Distribution Statement: No restrictions. This document is available to the public through
The National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161
19. Security Classification (of this report)
Security Classification. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
Copyright 1996 by IISTPS
Library of Congress No. 96-69383
To order, please contact us via the following:
The Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
College of Business
San Jose, CA. 95192-0219
Preparedin cooperation with the State of California, Business, Transportation andHousing Agency, Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department ofTransportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, UniversityResearch Institutes program.
Thecontents of this report reflect the views of the author who is responsible forthe facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do notnecessarily reflect the official views or policies of the U.S. Department ofTransportation, the State of California or IISTPS. This report does notconstitute a standard, specification or regulation.
Thisdocument is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department ofTransportation, University Transportation Centers Program, in the interest ofinformation exchange. The U.S. Government, State of California and IISTPSassumes no liability for the contents or use thereof.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive Summary 1
Welcome by Charles Gillingham 3
Sheriff of Santa Clara County
Introduction by Rod Diridon 3
Executive Director, IISTPS
Comments by Rob Vitale 4
Education Director, IISTPS
Presentation Number One: Thomas Savage 7
Chief Security Officer, New York TransitAuthority
“Lessons Learned By the New York Transit AuthorityFrom Recent Terrorist Attacks”
Presentation Number Two: Patrick Webb 19
Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau ofInvestigation
“Responsibility of Local Authorities When the FBIis Called in to Assist”
Presentation Number Three: Ernest R. Frazier 29
Chief of Police, Amtrack
“Could the Arizona DerailmentHave Been Predicted?”
Presentation Number Four: Denis Jackson 49
Vice President for Technical Operations,American Medical Response West, Inc.
“EmergencyTerrorism Response Systems”.
Panel Discussion 59
Closing Comments by Moderator Rod Diridon 77
Appendix A: NYC Transit: Report on Interagency
Preparedness Exercise 95-3 81
Appendix B: Lessons Learned byNYC Transit From
Recent Terrorist Attacks 91
Appendix C: ATF Bomb ThreatChecklist 99
Appendix D: H.R. 2949 103
Table of Acronyms 109
I am pleased to forward a copyof the proceedings of the Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for SurfaceTransportation Policy Studies (IISTPS) March 1996 Symposium on “Terrorism inSurface Transportation.” Thissymposium was presented at San José State University on March 15, 1996, as partof the IISTPS charter of continuing education in the area of SurfaceTransportation Policy.
The topic for this Symposiumwas selected to help satisfy the increased need for awareness of andpreparedness for possible terrorism attacks on the surface transportationsystems within the United States and the world. A group of experts wasassembled to present a summary of their vast experience and concerns in the areasof terrorism to an invited group of delegates drawn from transportationagencies, law enforcement, other government agencies and the private sector.After the formal presentations, time was made available for increasedunderstanding of the various issues through interactive discussions is includedin these proceedings.
Many people helped in the creation of this symposium. Iwould like to thank especially our expert speakers, Tom Savage, Chief SecurityOfficer, New York Transit Authority; Patrick Webb, Supervisory Special Agent,Counter-Terrorism Squad, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Ernest R. Frazier,Chief of Police, Amtrak; and Denis Jackson, Vice President for TechnicalOperations, American Medical Response West, Inc. In addition to our finespeakers, I would like to thank Rod Diridon, Executive Director of IISTPS; RobVitale, Education Director for IISTPS; Dr. Dirk Wassenaar, IISTPS MarketingDirector; Claudia Hull and Patrick A. Rooney, IISTPS Graduate Assistants; andBenedicte Sigwalde, Symposium Assistant, as well as the other IISTPS’ staffmembers, for their professional assistance in the presentation of thissymposium.
Finally, I hope that you, the reader, will find theseproceedings to be both stimulating and useful as a guide to further awarenessin the important areas of surface transportation terrorism response andprevention.
The second symposium presentedby the Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Surface TransportationPolicy Studies (IISTPS) was held March 15, 1996, on the San José StateUniversity campus. This timely discussion was co-sponsored by the Research andSpecial Programs Administration (RSPA) of the United States Department ofTransportation (U.S. DOT) and the California Department of Transportation(Caltrans). The topic, Terrorism in Surface Transportation, was addressed by leading experts in several relatedfields.
Chief Security Officer of theNew York Transit Authority, Tom Savage, described lessons learned from recentterrorist attacks. Mr. Savage spoke not only of past occurrences, but also ofthe challenges presently facing most cities.
FBI Counter-terrorism SquadSupervisory Special Agent, Patrick J. Webb, addressed the responsibilities ofthe local authorities when the FBI is called in to assist. He cited specificincidents of the collaboration now common between agencies, and he spoke ofideas for furthering the effectiveness of such interdependence of affiliatedagencies.
Amtrak Chief of Police, ErnestFrazier, spoke about the Arizona derailment, specifically about whether such anoccurrence can be predicted. He also addressed the significance of proposedSenate Bill 2949 (copy appended). Also speaking tot he assembled group wasDenis Jackson, Vice President for Technical Operations for American MedicalResponse West, the largest ambulance and paramedic provider in the UnitedStates. Mr. Jackson discussed terrorism attacks, similar to the Oklahoma Citybombing and the emergency response systems in place to deal with them.
All of the speakers providedinsight into the problems facing our cities today under the threat of terrorismas it applies to transportation. The value of the symposium was enhanced by thepanel discussion moderator, Rod Diridon, Executive Director of IISTPS. Mr.Diridon holds both national and international leadership positions in the fieldof mass transportation.
TERRORISM INSURFACE TRANSPORTATION
Second Symposiumof the Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for
SurfaceTransportation Policy Studies
The second InternationalInstitute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies (IISTPS) symposium, Terrorismin Surface Transportation, began with awelcome by Rod Diridon, Executive Director of the Institute. Diridon introducedthe Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Santa Clara County, Sheriff Charles“Chuck” Gillingham. Gillingham, a directly elected individual, served for manyyears as Deputy Sheriff and then as the Commander of the Jails. Elected to theoffice, he is presently in charge of the entire Santa Clara County Sheriff’sDepartment.
Sheriff Charles Gillingham
After relating a humorousstory, Gillingham addressed the necessity of an ongoing and close workingrelationship with other agencies, like the one presently existing with Amtrakpolice. He stressed the importance of all elements of law enforcementcollaborating to curtail the crime rate.
After acknowledging Rod Diridonfor his fine work with the Institute, Gillingham invited Diridon to introducethe first guest speaker.
Mr. Rod Diridon
Diridon spoke briefly about theInstitute. He explained that the Norman Y. Mineta International Institute forSurface Transportation Policy Studies (IISTPS) at San José State University was established byCongress in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991(ISTEA). Unique among the nation’s six University Transportation Institutes,IISTPS focuses on international surface transportation policy issues related toresearch, education, and information transfer. IISTPS receives policy oversightfrom an internationally respected Board of Trustees who represent all of themajor surface transportation modes.
Diridon noted that this was thesecond symposium presented by IISTPS. The first symposium, held on June 6,1995, was on “Planning for Surface Transportation and Land Use.” He indicated that the proceedings fromit will be available for purchase shortly. He then invited the audience topurchase a copy of the symposia proceedings.
Next, Diridon introduced thesymposium coordinator, Rob Vitale, an Adjunct Professor at San José StateUniversity and IISTPS’ Education Director. Vitale’s expertise is in marketingwithin private industry. Diridon explained that an effort is being made toenlist the participation of individuals from private industry whose businessexpertise will enhance the academic curriculum of the Institute. He thenwelcomed Adjunct Professor Rob Vitale as one who successfully melds thetheoretical/academic approach with practical business experience.
Mr. Rob Vitale
Vitale spoke briefly about thedevelopment of a Masters of Science Program in Transportation Management. Hesaid it is off to a good start and welcomed inquiries from interested parties.He explained that the symposia series is a part of that education program.Vitale spoke about the dedicated and proficient staff who support the programand introduced Miles Welter, Project Director for this symposium, ProfessorDirk Wassenaar, Marketing Project Director, as well as other staff members.
Vitale spoke about theeducation program as being different from what one would expect when thinkingof a Master’s degree. He explained that the program is designed to breaktypical paradigms in the academic world. For example, the video of this symposiumwill be used in classrooms, and hopefully presenters from the symposia serieswill also speak to our students.
Vitale also said that classeswill be conducted via televideo all over the world as this program isdeveloped, a concept called distance learning. When 15 or 20 people gather atany facility, whether at the Santa Clara County Transit Agency or Caltrans, ora group in Minnesota or New York or New Jersey, SJSU plans to make available tothem classes for a Master of Science degree in transportation management.Vitale stressed that this program is specialized for transportation management,and SJSU plans to “push the envelope” with this new teaching technique.
Vitale stated that the mostdistinctive element of this program is its goal to be contemporary, to satisfyspecific needs that the transportation professionals have communicated areneeded in the future careers of their employees. He explained that the programis non-traditional by design, not accident or oversight, and offered the willingnessto listen to other new concepts. Vitale identified this program as a verydifferent type of master’s program and one hoped to be the model of newmaster’s education of the next century.
Our first speaker, Thomas J. Savage is Chief SecurityOfficer for the New York City Transit Authority. Savage is responsible for theexecutive direction of New York City Transit’s strategic securityfunctions–passenger and employee security and property protection. He has primaryresponsibility for coordinating these issues with the Mayor’s Office ofCriminal Justice and the Transit Bureau of the New York City Police Department.
It is unfortunate that transit professionals are nowmandated to add Terrorism to all industry related meetings and conferences. Itis only March, and this symposium is the second I and many of you have attendedthis year. Terrorism is a topic of grave and growing concern. As day-to-daytransit operating managers, our responsibilities dramatically changed with thefollowing incidents:
Š The World Trade Centerbombing–February 1993;
Š Sarin Gas Attack in theTokyo subway system–March 1995;
Š Paris commuter trainbombing–July 1995;
Š London bus systembombing–February 1996; and
Š Jerusalem bus systembombing–March 1996.
The fact is clear that we must prepare ourselves forthe threat of Terrorism just as we prepare for fire or any other disaster.
This presentation will provide an overview of recentexperiences in public transportation in New York. It will help you identifywhat impact such events have had on policies and what changes are beinginstituted as a result of our changing times.
Š The largest publictransit system in North America–we account for about 40% of all mass transittrips nationwide–and the world’s tenth largest system;
Š The subway and bussystem operates 24 hours every day and carries an average of 4.7 million dailypassengers and 1.5 billion annual passengers;
Š NYC Transit has a staffof approximately 43,000;
Š An annual operatingbudget of $3.6 billion; and,
Š Annual capitalexpenditures of more than $1 billion.
Š The subway serves 3.5million customers on an average weekday and about 1.1 billion passengers ayear. The 25 subway lines are interconnected, offering free transfers betweenlines permitted at more than 50 locations;
Š The world’s largestsubway fleet, with 5,803 cars, is now entirely new or overhauled. Almost allthe cars have air conditioning and–since May 1989–all are graffiti free;
Š The subway fleet travelsabout 300 million revenue miles each year. The longest ride on the system withno change of trains is 31 miles;
Š About 60 percent of thesystem’s 468 subway stations are underground. The others are located alongelevated structures or are built on embankments or in open cuts;
Š Located within stationfacilities are: 3,180 turnstiles, 742 token booths, 60 elevators, and 161escalators; and
Š The organization iscomprised of approximately 25,000 employees distributed between two primarydivisions–Service Delivery and Maintenance.
Š The Department of Busesoperates 201 local and 30 express bus routes providing about 49,000 dailyrevenue trips;
Š The system’s 3,751 busescarry about 1.2 million customers daily and 450 million annually;
Š Each rush hour, morethan 3,000 buses are in operation, picking up customers at more than 14,000 busstops;
Š New York City bus routestotal 1,671 miles. Buses travel about 104 million miles annually. The longestlocal bus route is 16.5 miles and the longest express route is 27.3 miles;
Š Buses are maintained andcleaned in 19 depots. The fleet is 100 percent graffiti-free, air conditioned,either new or overhauled and equipped with wheelchair lifts;
Š To keep buses on themove, we use 36 million gallons of diesel fuel;
Š We are working todevelop a New Technology Bus that will have reduced emissions and improved fueleconomy. Among the prototypes being researched:
Š Battery PoweredBuses–Equipped with electric motors and rechargeable batteries;
Š Electric HybridBuses–Equipped with electric motors and smaller diesel engines; and
Š Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) Buses–Designed to burn cleaner fuel (32 buses are in actual use).
Š As of January 1996, ourfleet’s average age is 8.57 years and is distributed as follows:
Š 54% are the GMC RTS-04model;
Š 8% are the GMC RTS-06model;
Š 27% are the TMC RTS-06model; and
Š 11% are the BIA Orion 5model.
Š The organization iscomprised of approximately 12,000 employees and includes 7,500 bus operatorsand 2,700 bus maintenance staff.
Š On February 26, 1993,New York City experienced terrorism firsthand. The World Trade Center bombingtrapped thousands of people and caused injury and death to six persons. Bus andsubway service was disrupted.
Š The World Trade Centerbombing vividly demonstrated to New York City Transit and the New York PoliceDepartment (NYPD) that the everyday crime/security concerns were no longer theonly threat to the safety of our passengers and employees. Recognizing this,Transit and the NYPD organized an interagency fact finding task force onterrorism–chaired by Deputy Inspector Francis O’Hare of the NYPD’s TransitBureau. To enhance understanding of the dangers and disruptiveness ofTerrorism, task force representatives traveled to England, Italy, France andeventually Japan to study and evaluate procedures on terrorism response.
Š The attached task forcerecommendations (see appendix) are continually being reviewed. After the Saringas attack in Japan, the Transit and NYPD task force reviewed security issuesin an effort to prevent and/or mitigate a similar occurrence. The task forcemade five recommendations, of which three have been implemented. These threeresulted in:
Š Information and guidanceabout gas attacks being given to employees;
Š The establishment ofventilation procedures for subway cars, stations and facilities; and
Š The submission of newgas attack procedures for coordination of effort between Transit and other cityagencies.
Š The two remainingrecommendations are still under review and deal with aspects of station design:
Š The task force suggestedcertain changes in how stations are laid out, including the elimination ofcertain design features such as open or idle spaces behind token booths andconcession stands which might be used for the concealment of explosive or toxicdevices. Our problem with implementing is the sheer size of the system, as Ihave previously mentioned. The cost of correcting every potential designproblem in one station alone would be enormous; to make similar corrections systemwidewould be financially impossible. As stations are being rehabilitated designchanges are being incorporated to enhance security.
Š A second suggestionrecommended the removal of trash receptacles in subway stations. This was donein Tokyo only during the Sarin alert, and they have since been reinstalled. Theremoval of trash receptacles creates problems of trash buildup and track fires.The question of which creates the greatest safety concern for our passengersand employees is challenging, and careful consideration must be given of allpossible results of the recommendation before it can be put into effect.
Š The initial task forcerecommendations focused on three areas of responsibility:
Š Transit PolicingProcedures;
Š Facilities Management;and
Š Bus and SubwayOperations.
Transit Policing Procedures–In addition to the following procedures, interactionwith NYC Transit personnel is stressed to ensure a coordinated effort:
Š NYPD Transit Bureauofficers inspect all parts of their post; taking the time to ensure that thisinspection is done thoroughly and conscientiously;
Š Bus depot and subwaystation inspections include items such as solar cans, sand boxes, concessionbooths, construction sites, or other areas where materials or devices may beconcealed;
Š Being alert forsuspicious packages, persons, odors, or activities on or around transitfacilities;
Š Ensuring that homelesspersons are not residing in any buses, subway cars, stations, tunnels, or otherfacility;
Š Knowing where allemergency equipment–such as fire extinguishers, stretchers, bull horns,etc.–are kept. Ensuring that the equipment is in working order and beingfamiliar with how these items are used;
Š Reporting forappropriate attention any condition that would be dangerous in anemergency–e.g. an inoperable public address system, etc.;
Š Checking the NYC Transitpasses or ID’s of persons entering or exiting nonpublic areas such asunderwater tunnels–remembering that safety vests, uniforms, or hard hats can beobtained anywhere and are not valid proof of employment;
Š Being familiar withmobilization procedures during an emergency;
Š Inspecting fan shaftsand emergency exits in the vicinity of the underwater tunnels;
Š Equipping the TransitBureau and NYPD command staff–Captains and above–with radios that have beenprogrammed with other metropolitan area transit agencies’ frequencies toenhance coordination during emergencies;
Š Commencing high profilepolicing at two NYC transportation hubs–Grand Central Station and Penn Station.This policing coordinates individual command personnel with detachments fromthe Homeless Outreach Unit and the Vandal Unit;
Š The NYPD Transit BureauCrime Prevention Unit conducts surveys of transit facilities. The surveyresults are included in the planning and design stages of new and renovatedconstruction projects; and
Š Last and most important,because practice is a necessary part of any emergency response training, NewYork City has recently staged two drills to test emergency response to gasattacks on public transportation such as those recently suffered in Japan.While all personnel were informed at the time that the incidents to which theywere responding were a drill, no advance notice had been given, and the mannerin which they responded was the same as if the incidents had been genuineattacks. Appendix A is the critique of the September 23, 1995, drill.
Facilities Management–There are three administrative facilities that housebus, subway and administrative staff. Facilities managers conduct evacuationdrills in coordination with the NYPD Transit Bureau and the NYC FireDepartment. Additionally, the following steps have been taken to improvesecurity:
Š Contracted for a newfire command center;
Š Stationary Engineers arebeing qualified and licensed as Assistant Fire Safety Directors;
Š Increased the number ofFire Wardens;
Š Headquarters’ buildingmanager’s office moved to the front entrance for higher visibility andaccessibility;
Š Reevaluated emergencyequipment, corrected deficiencies and established preventive maintenance;
Š Rekeyed all mechanicaland electrical closets, pump rooms, boiler rooms to single lock system understrict controls;
Š Acquired 20 radios forbuilding maintenance staff to improve communications during emergencies; and
Š Reevaluated mail roomprocedures–see Appendix B–and purchased mail scanning equipment.
Bus and Subway Operations are initiating aggressively effective methods toaddress terrorist activity. Initiatives in place include:
Š Implementing use of theU.S. Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT) Bomb ThreatChecklist–see Appendix C–to guide Transit Command Center personnel on gatheringpertinent information to pass on to police;
Š Implementing jointTransit Police training programs with bus and subway operations to increaseparticipation and awareness–this partnership is important when dealing withservice disruptions. Courses include Track Safety for non-Transit Bureau policeofficers and Track Safety Recertification for Transit Bureau Homeless OutreachUnit and Vandal Squad;
Š Establishing offsite commandcenters for communications redundancy.
Š Interagency Drills–theDepartment of Buses (DOB) is assisting the FBI and NYPD Emergency Services Unittest various apprehension tactics. Tubular assault training is being conductedon Transit DOB rolling stock. The goal is to develop tactics to maximize rescueeffectiveness. Bus maintenance staff participates in developing the training byproviding technical assistance in the following areas:
Š Specific bus structuraldesign features;
Š Fuel tank systemlocations;
Š HVAC systemspecifications;
Š Onboard radio and PAcommunications;
Š Bullet penetrationtests; and
Š General bus maintenancetips.
Š Improvements ToPreventive Measures At Bus Facilities–the Department of Buses and the Transit Bureaudeveloped the following list of improvements now in use:
Š New York City Transitproperty contiguous to bus depots should be illuminated with High IntensityDischarge (HID) lamps, and fixtures and poles should be marked in a permanentand legible manner;
Š Bus depot overhead doorsshould be:
Š Kept in the closedposition whenever operating conditions permit;
Š Plans for motorizingoverhead doors should be developed and included in all new and rehabilitationconstruction designs; and
Š All vehicle entrancesshould have “openwork” ventilating gates.
Š The Plant &Equipment Maintenance Unit should develop and implement a preventativemaintenance program with accountable record keeping.
Š Perimeter pedestriandoors should be:
Š Maintained in a state ofgood repair, operate smoothly and fit properly, include panic hardware, propersignage, operating door checks and appropriate handles;
Š Pedestrian doorsroutinely used by DOB personnel should be equipped with digital locks orelectronic photo identification cards. Digital lock combinations should bechecked after each job pick.
Š Exterior depot doorsshould be:
Š Numbered inside and outwith large, highly legible numbers; and
Š Lighted by HighIntensity Discharge (HID) lamps with individual photo cell controls.
Š Interior doors should benumbered and the space identified as to content and usage.
Š Internal stairwaysshould be equipped with energy efficient vandal resistant lighting fixtures.
Š Employee parking shouldbe:
Š Only allowed inauthorized areas;
Š Include two sets of“speed bumps” inside the entrance gate area;
Š Restricted to employeevehicles that are registered for Transit DOB parking permits; and
Š Compliant with New YorkCity Department of Motor Vehicle parking regulations.
Š Perimeter fencing shouldbe:
Š Kept in a state of goodrepair;
Š Upgraded to includerazor ribbon; and
Š Maintained by removingall vegetation along the side and applying defoliant on a regularly scheduledbasis.
Š “Networking” is one ofthe most current buzzwords in today’s workplace. It is of particular importanceto groups such as those working in counter-terrorism.
Š “Terrorism” has demandedthat we exchange ideas and experiences and foster cooperative thinking. Astransit professionals we must do everything possible to minimize the effect ofterrorism incidents.
Š Here are a few examplesof supporting the “Network”:
Š We must rethink designelements and equipment within our systems;
Š We must develop trainingto help our employees recognize and differentiate types of emergency situationsand the actions they require;
Š We must become expertsin a new range of chemical and biological substances;
Š We must practice andrefine our emergency mobilization and rescue procedures as never before;
Š We must elevate goodhousekeeping and station inspections by employees to the highest priority; and
Š We must cooperate in newways with agencies and city officials who share different aspects of theoverwhelming responsibility.
In closing, I hope this presentation is helpful andthank you for the information I will learn from you during this symposium.(Further information is available in appendices.)
At the conclusion of Mr. Savage’s speech, the followingquestions were asked and answered:
Q. I understand yourdedication to housekeeping and daily inspections and cleaning up the stations andtunnels and so on. Is there any specific thing that the Transit Authority isdoing for parking garages that may be close to your property or on yourproperty? It’s one thing toinspect for trash and packages, but it’s another thing to look inside a van.
A. What we’ve done,particularly at our bus garages, is instituted a parking permit system. Again,it’s common sense, but we never had that system before. Prior to the TradeCenter bombing, bus operators, bus maintenance workers and subway workers wouldjust pull up to the entrance gate at one of the yards and, usually, becausethey knew the people at the gates, gain admittance. Now we have instituted aparking permit-type system where every employee who asks for a parking space onour property goes through a procedure, fills out forms, and actually gets anofficial Transit Authority parking permit. All of our parking procedures arereviewed with the NYPD and the Department of Motor Vehicles, and specific rulesare followed. In addition, any new garage that we build, or any new facilityusually has a gate that goes up and down. Speed bumps have been put in, and wehave upgraded transit property protection booths. So yes, we’re attempting tochange the way we have done business for 90 years and institute changes such asthese wherever we can. We don’t have the speed bumps and gates in everylocation yet, but everybody uses the parking permit. There have been timeswhere a car is found on the property with no permit; we have sent out a groupof special inspectors and opened the trunk of the car. We have communicatedwith our employees, and their unions, and they all know that we will open thetrunk of a car that’s parked on the property under reasonable circumstances.That’s what we’ve been doing.
Q. You talked quite abit about changes in procedures and practices. Are there other new policiesthat you’ve had to implement as a result of the learning that you’ve gonethrough? If so, could you possiblysummarize what some of those were?
A. In ouradministrative headquarters we are starting to put turnstiles into all thebuildings, and we’re putting in an automated fare collection system in NewYork. Pretty soon everybody is going to have a swipe card. That, plus havingtransit property protection agents at the entrances to all major facilities, isproviding better control of who get sin and who gets out. The subway and bussystem is so large that you really can’t do anything that would impactpassenger flow at the turnstile areas at stations. Unfortunately, we recently hadan incident where an individual–who has just been convicted of thiscrime–brought in a homemade bomb. He had everything in a shopping bag, andthere is no way that our transit police can stop every person going into thestation.
We constantly train our plain clothes police officers andour uniformed police officers to be alert for smells that are unusual; somechemicals give out a foul odor. For the most part, we really can’t createprocedures that negatively impact the three million passengers going in and outof the system each day.
Q. Your transportationfacilities are mainly what we call linear targets for purposes of rescue andthings of that nature. Do you have teams that are trained in how to operate allthe equipment on a train or a bus, and are they trained in linear take-downs?
A. Actually, thisMonday we’re having one of a series of practice drills with the FBI and theNYPD in New York. What the Transit Authority is doing is giving the JointTerrorist Task Force a bus to do whatever they want. It’s really to practice.In addition, four times yearly we do mock drills. Then we send maintenancetechnicians to teach everything there is to know about the buses.
The last drill included every major public securityagency in New York–the Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services Department,the local hospitals, and the FBI. In New York every private and public entitythat would be affected by a terrorist attack has been brought into the trainingand practice process. As an example, in our drills you will find certainpassengers who have hurt their back, or maybe they got a slight cut; we sendthat group to one hospital. A group that would be more seriously injured wouldbe sent to a closer hospital. We have a few hospitals in New York City whichare experts in burn recovery. That’s one place where we can get helicopters, ifthey are required.
Q. The manpower in afacility as large as yours gets quite expensive. What role have you placed, orwhat importance have you placed on electronic security systems access control,CCTV, etc., to supplement or augment the manpower?
A. The budget is a realproblem in New York. My department alone had to cut $2 million out of theoperating budget for the calendar year. I have a very limited budget to put insophisticated security systems in existing facilities. Where I have moreflexibility is in the capital budget, where we spend about one billion dollarsa year on facilities and rolling stock. Everything that we buy or build,whether it be a new subway car, a bus, or a new facility, reflects designeffort from the very beginning. And that’s where we put resources into CCTV’sand swipe card systems. We’ve been looking at the hand print system, golden eyeif you want to call it that; as we go forward certainly every facility that wehave is being upgraded, and we are including more sophisticated equipment inthe new buildings. That’s not to say that if we identified a serious problem inan older facility we wouldn’t do anything. We certainly would, but it’s tough,and I’m sure that everybody here who has responsibility for an operating budgetwould know that we’re running up against the same issue. But to answer yourquestion, yes we do it as much as we possibly can. I hope that was clear foryou.
Our next speaker is SupervisorySpecial Agent Patrick J. Webb. Webb is not only a Special Agent BombTechnician, but also a Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI Counter-TerrorismSquad. Webb has been involved in many notorious terrorism cases, including theUnabomb Task Force.
The majority of my career hasbeen spent in the Bay Area, and I think in terms of this particular topic withthe wide range of transportation facilities in the Bay Area. It’s nice to beable to talk about this. When we look at the wide range of facilities,including BART and CalTrain, they represent a wide range of targets. I happento live in Marin, and I just noticed that the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway andTransportation Authority, the Bridge District, bought the right-of-way all theway to Willits, so at some point we are probably going to be able to takesurface transportation to commute to San Francisco from Willits, if you wouldwant to do that. That again just adds to the variety and complexity of whatwe’re looking at.
Among the things I want to do today is perhaps justassuage your fears in some way, tell you we are here to help–in spite of beingfrom the government–and to give you some reassurance that you’re not in thisthing alone. I want to talk a little bit about the background of terrorismwe’ve seen recently, particularly as it relates domestically to the UnitedStates, the FBI’s jurisdiction in those affairs, some of the current trends andinitiatives underway, and the perhaps talk a little bit about what you can doand what needs to be done.
Domestically, and perhaps inthe broadest sense, things aren’t as bad as they seem to be. In fact, inreported terrorist attacks, the way the FBI looks at it–attacks claimed bygroups and individuals with political motives–in 1994 there were no reportedattacks in the United States. I used to call 1993 the year of the asterisk,because it was the year of the World Trade Center bombing. It’s like looking atbaseball statistics for the years when they had strikes. There was always a bigasterisk next to the batting average. That was so far ’93 because in the WorldTrade Center tragedy, six people were killed, a thousand injured, and there wasa lot of damage, $700 million damage.
And then all of the sudden 1995 came along, and it becamethe year of the asterisk and ampersand together because 1995 was a very unusualyear. It was an unusual year–maybe almost a wake up call to America–because ofthe wide range and scale of domestic terrorism attacks that we saw, the type ofattacks that we saw, and particularly the motives we started to see. In oneway, the wake up call began with the Ohm Shin Richio attack in Japan in Marchof ’95. But for those of you who have looked at the history of that group, asearly as 1994 that cult had started a chemical attack with a test run on asmall village in Japan where people were killed.
And even after the March attack, attacks continuedwell into July at other railroad stations and subway facilities using differenttypes of weapons and different delivery methods. The attack in March took theworld stage, but everybody just kind of zoned out on that one thing, and theydid continue until July of ’95.
In 1995, on April 19th, the Oklahoma Citybombing occurred. 169 people were killed, and many more injured. Just last weekI saw a report being prepared for the prosecution that the governor has ordereda damage survey, and they believe the cumulative damage up to this point isabout a $700 million dollar hit to the Oklahoma economy, including all of theexpenses and business disruption and that kind of thing.
I served nine months on the Unabomb Task Force, and it’sstill existent in our office, so I feel constrained to mention that in April of’95 we had a Unabomb attack which killed a victim at the California ForestryAssociation in Sacramento.
That has become a terroristrelated case; actually it used to be on my squad–I’m the supervisor who can’tsolve Unabomb. Now there are about 120 agents across the country working on it.In our office alone there are three squads headed by an Assistant Agent inCharge, and Jim Freeman, the Agent in Charge, my boss, runs that case each andevery day. The April Unabomb attack was coupled with the demand of the Unabombsubject to publish his manuscript. It was eventually published by the NewYork Times and Washington Post in a joint effort in September. The reason I mentionthat is the Unabomb is not only a frustrating investigation; in fact it is thelongest unsolved bombing series in the United States. It even surpasses GeorgeMatesky who did bombings starting in 1938 and ending in ’56 in New York City.But Unabomb continues to go on; I’m not sure that the subject will be satisfiedwith the publishing of his manuscript.
He also has learned to tweak the public interest. Hedid that in June of last year when he sent a letter to the San FranciscoChronicle with a small threat thatsaid, “I’ve put a bomb in an airliner out of Los Angeles International whichwill go off within the next six days.” Perhaps he didn’t know, but it was right around the 4th ofJuly holiday, the second most busy air travel holiday for California in thecalendar year. Once we got that threat–and I’ll tell you frankly we got thatinformation at the office at about 4:00 and spoke to the FAA at 5:00–they put alock down on California airports. In the six California airports that areaffected there are about 280,000 people a day traveling. I ended up having totake a package overnight to DC with a letter, and spent the next daydispatching Bureau Bomb Technicians to Los Angeles to examine the air freight.At one point we had eighteen tractor trailers with air freight stacked up atLAX that had to be screened before it was released to go on airliners. So theUnabomber again picked a fairly public transportation target. When he got hismanifesto manuscript published, he said it was just a big joke. By that point,however, the whole system was choked down considerably.
To go back to the terrorism issues in ’95, we had theAmtrak derailment in Arizona in October; one person was killed and many othersinjured. We in the FBI have named that investigation Split Rail; I brought mycase agent with me today, Tom Stutler, who has done most of the Split Railinvestigation in this area. We were impacted a lot by that because the SouthernPacific used to be headquartered here, and all their personnel records arehere, and all the disgruntled employees are here, and it’s been our mission inlife to deal with each one of them. If you look back to ’95, the scale and typeof attacks and particularly the motives, carry again into this year as we startapproaching the anniversary of the Waco takeover. The anniversary of course isApril 19th, which is also the anniversary of the Oklahoma Citybombing. The Ruby Ridge incident has provided a motivation for a whole group ofpeople to hate the government.
In the years I’ve been in the terrorism business, we’vecome to recognize that terrorism is cyclical. We do have preventions; that’spart of our mission–to detect and prevent terrorism attacks. We do havepreventions; we’ll work up a case, make arrests, issues come and go, and we’vebeen able to deter attacks. There have been two prominent deterrences in thelast couple of years, one is a case we call TERRSTOP, which came out of theWorld Trade Center bombing in New York City. You’ll recall, a blind sheik andmany of his followers were arrested and have been convicted and sentenced forplanning to blow up the tunnels and transit systems, the United Nations, and inparticular the FBI building–a kind of a motivation to solve that one! So we take credit, and we take pride indeterring those attacks.
Another international attack that would have had adevastating effect on transportation in general is a case we call Manila Air.Manila Air is due to go to trial at the end of April or early May in New YorkCity. Manila Air is a conspiracy that began in the Philippines. Ramsey Yousef,who was eventually arrested as one of the World Trade Center bombing subjects,has been indicted for that case. Ramsey Yousef and a group of his compatriotshad already completed one bombing attack on a 747 aircraft. It happened on aJapanese Airlines plane; they had boarded the plane and left an explosivedevice that went off over the Sea of China. It killed one passenger, but theplane made an emergency landing at Okinawa. Subsequently they were arrested inthe Philippines. Yousef got away and was eventually re-arrested in Pakistan.But from others who were arrested, we discovered that they had plans to put sixdifferent explosive devices on 747s flying to the West Coast. Two were to cometo San Francisco, two to LA, one to Honolulu, one to Seattle. Can you imaginethe impact on the American public if six 747s had come out of the air on thesame day? And they had plannedthis with the use of a lap top computer – this is kind of the high techterrorist. When they were arrested, the lap top computer along with all theother evidence was seized. It showed where they had figured out the flightschedules, where they could get aboard, leave the device and get off and letthe plane fly on. Those are two of the deterrent actions that we were able tosuccessfully pull off. Perhaps, as that case goes to trial, the public willfinally wake up.
I might mention that in terms of jurisdiction the FBIis designated, not only by statute but also by policy, as the leadcounter-terrorism agency in the United States. We’ve always had thatjurisdiction, particularly in a terrorist incident claimed by a group. In termsof prevention we still have that; we try to react and prevent at the same time.There are some other federal agencies, particularly ATF, that may havejurisdiction in certain incidents that may not be claimed, but the AttorneyGeneral has the authority to override and give the FBI the jurisdiction in anycase. As a result of a lot of the activities in 1995 the President recentlysigned, late last year, a classified Presidential Decision Directive #39 whichexpanded the FBI’s jurisdiction in a lot of areas, particularly in the chemicaland biological area, and put the FBI, whether we like it or not, into a lot ofconsequence management. Now we actually run the incident and at a pertinenttime turn it over to a consequence management agency such as FEMA, the FederalEmergency Management Agency. That’s a big responsibility for us, to be able tomanage the incidents in all their complexity. A lot of that stemmed fromsituations that occurred at the Oklahoma City bombing where there were a lot ofagencies in charge, and we were not only trying to manage the incident, butalso convict the bad guys.
The FBI is present in theinternational terrorism field. While I’m going to try to stick more to thedomestic side, on the international terrorism side, we have a lot of otherstatutes that apply to American citizens, particularly overseas where there isan overseas homicide or an overseas kidnapping. The FBI has extraterritorialjurisdiction and can actually dispatch teams and work those cases up. We’ve hadconvictions in extraterritorial cases; we bring those people back from overseasand convict them. The Manila Air case that I mentioned is a good example of theaircraft and motor vehicle statute that we also enforce. In the area ofProtection of Foreign Officials, there is a foreign government involved withthose here in the United States, and those diplomats and their facilities arecovered under FBI jurisdiction. And of course any conspiracy based activity,either foreign or domestic, we can look at under the terrorism guidelines.
I might mention the terrorismguidelines. It’s very easy to say the FBI has expansive terrorism jurisdiction,but we actually do work under rule of law and policy. Sometimes the policy istighter than the law. On the international terrorism side, we work underAttorney General guidelines which are promulgated by the Department of Justice.This gives me, for example, the authority as a supervisor to open a case. Andthen there are times lines as to how long we can investigate the case, andreporting standards, and we’re quite severely looked at in the way we conductthose investigations. Domestic cases have the same types of guidelines. Infact, in some cases the domestic case guidelines are even tighter as to whatcreates a predicate action that allows us to investigate or to begin aninvestigation, and that threshold can be very hard to define.
We struggle, I won’t say daily,but often with what we can open and what we cannot open, and what makes thethreshold to make a case work. We are no longer in the business (when I firstbegan in the FBI we probably did it very well) of just collecting forcollecting’s sake. We have to have a real reason to collect on individuals andgroups. There is a strong emphasis on First Amendment rights, and we do thatand deal with it in terms of the guidelines. If we get information that showsthat a group or individual is about to commit, or is planning to commit, acriminal act, we have no problem at all opening a case. But just going out andcollecting license numbers of people at a meeting for a group we think we maynot like, we just don’t do that anymore. That’s a kind of result of theexcesses of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, but within the framework of how we do ourcases now we’ve become very used to that. Each case stands on its own merits.
One of the things that ChiefFrazier mentioned earlier, and that Tom Savage mentioned, is the concept of howthe FBI investigates terrorism cases. One of the things that we’ve been verysuccessful at is the creation and operation of Joint Terrorism Task Forces. Theone in New York is perhaps the model for the country. I think the New York JTTFbegan in ’76 after the FALN bombings. The supervisor there is a good friend ofmine and has a huge staff, about 48 officers and agents working now. The way werun terrorism task forces and how they exist in Chicago, Newark, Washington,DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Los Angeles is that we bring state andfederal local law enforcement officers together. We actually create and write aMemorandum of Understanding. In the case of local officers, the FBI basicallypays their overtime. We give them cars, beepers, phones, office space. Theywork right along with FBI agents. The International Terrorism Task Force in NewYork has Secret Service agents, INS agents, Department of State securityagents, diplomatic security agents, ATF agents, and Customs agents workingright alongside the FBI agents. They have the New York City PD, the PortAuthority PD, the Transit Police; it is truly an extraterritorial approach todoing terrorism cases. Here in California, in Los Angeles, the LA TerrorismTask Force has both the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department workingtogether. That’s the wave of the future. The first couple years the jointterrorism task forces were run, it was a new concept; now it just becomes runof the mill in the way we do business. I think their success across the countryshows that, particularly when we start talking about things like specialevents. That’s one of the things we have to deal with like the Olympics, or theRepublic or Democratic conventions this year, the World Cup, many of the otherthings we’ve done. Having those task forces even drawn together for those kindsof efforts means a great deal.
In terms of domestic terrorism initiatives, the FBIhas seen this grow in the last year, and part of it came out with somethingthat the public and even law enforcement may not have paid much attention to.That is, a supplemental appropriation was passed almost immediately after theOklahoma City bombing by the Congress. They did that one fairly quickly, butthey still can’t get their act together to pass the Counter-terrorism Bill. Inthe supplemental appropriation that was passed after OKBomb, the Oklahoma Cityincident, one of the big things that it did was to establish a domesticcounter-terrorism analysis center. We’ve always had a very similar thing on theinternational side, and it’s headquartered at the CIA. The FBI hasparticipation in that, but on the domestic side they are just now starting toput it together. It will have liaison with and direct participation by about 24federal government agencies; those of us who work in the field have beeninstructed to create a very vigorous liaison.
At the conclusion of Webb’s speech, the followingquestions were asked and answered:
Q. What is the standarddefinition of terrorism?
A. I didn’t bring mystandard definition because there are four definitions and unfortunately we usethe one which is, “intimidation by the threat of force and violence to achievepolitical aims or goals.” TheState Department uses another one, the Agency uses another one, anyone tryingto finish his Ph.D. or graduate studies uses a different one. I think mostinclude “the use of violence for political ends” as a central component.
Q. You talk aboutcooperation and sharing of information as key to finding a solution to thisproblem. In Italy we have learned that this is particularly important. I’m sureyou are aware of the terrible decade of the 80’s in Italy, but actually acertain kind of technology helped a lot in solving the problem. It was atechnology that came from the U.S.; it was signal intelligence. It helped crackdown a very large part of the Red Brigades. There is an aspect of thistechnology that comes from intelligence agencies which traditionally is noteasily shared. Today, however, terrorism is more than ever an internationalphenomenon. Where do you see these interest shifts in terms of sharinginformation and technology across the border in attempting to solve theseproblems?
A. I thinkinternationally they already occur across the border. The Trevy Group and otherworking groups deal with international terrorism issues on that type of scale.I think the problem arises, and we face it. I see it also on the jointterrorism task forces. Part of the problem comes in not only the sharing of theinformation–because the information may be able to stand by itself–but fromwhat collection technique was used to derive it. Collection techniques aregoing to continue to be a problem, but they are also becoming better and moresophisticated. That’s going to continue to be problematic, because we’re notgoing to sacrifice the technique over the long run for that one little bit ofinformation now.
I’ll tell you how we deal with it on the terrorismtask force. Everybody who works on a joint terrorism task force is cleared foranything priority to the FBI.
We do a full background investigation on them, theydon’t report to their Chief, they become a fully compatible part of theterrorism task force. We’ve done that in this area for the World Cup here atStanford. For that we brought in officers and gave them a clearance. We clearedthem for the information, and we won’t sacrifice public safety because wedidn’t tell somebody something. We’re going to have to get that informationout, and the way we do it is to clear the agency or the officer so that we cangive them the information, and then at the end of the event, the clearanceexpires.
Q. There is a lot of“espionage” going on between “friendlies.” I recently went to a seminar whereit looked like the U.S., among other countries, is a target for people who areseeking to gain more technological information so they can control a lot of ourcomputer systems which deal with the exchange and collation of information. Ininternational terrorist incidents, are we going to share some of ourtechnological breakthroughs with those other groups?
A. I think we will. Ifyou look at what the President outlined yesterday in relation to sharing withIsrael, one half of the one hundred million dollars worth of aid and equipmentis going to be technology. And that’s technology that was developed in theUnited States. In the bomb business, we see a lot of stuff that originated inBritain and other countries, and we get to use it, fine craft it, and take itout of metric and put it into our own dimensions. So I think that’s going tocontinue. Our office is now founding a squad that actually specializes in internationalcomputer crime. We have one here in the South Bay already that does chip theftsand that kind of thing.
We are actually putting a squadtogether that’s going to look at international computer crime. It’s called theProtection of the National Information Infrastructure. We’re going to do that alot, and one of the things that will also help us is a thing called theNational Trade Secrets Act in Congress. If Congress passes that, it will giveus more jurisdiction and authority to look at stealing, even corporate stealingand that kind of thing. Nowadays somebody can go to a company here in theValley and take $100 million dollars worth of R&D product, put it in theirpocket and get on a plane and fly out of SFO, non-stop to a competing foreign country.If we arrest them the only thing they can be charged with is holding that $2.50diskette in their pocket. Propriety information, R&D information, things ofthat nature, are not yet against the law to steal. It becomes more of a civilbattle; that’s what the National Trade Secrets Act would overcome.
Our next speaker, Ernest R.Frazier, Chief of Police for Amtrak, also known as the National RailroadPassenger Corporation, comes to us from their headquarters in Philadelphia.He’s been with Amtrak for 15 years; before that he was with law enforcement inMaryland and in the U.S. Army. He has a BS and is a candidate for a JD atRutgers. He’s on the executive committee of the American Association ofRailroads, as well as the Transit Police and is a nominee for an appointment tothe terrorist committee of the IACP.
GoodMorning, ladies and gentlemen!
My name is Ernest R. Frazier, and I am the Chief ofPolice of America’s National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK).
Today, I would like to discuss an issue that, in thenarrowest sense, is extremely important to Amtrak in its operation of anational rail passenger service. This same issue, in the broadest sense, isextremely important to every citizen in the United States whose fundamentalright to travel throughout this country, conceptually, has been constrained.
As indicated in the Institute’s Transportation SymposiumBrochure, I am here to discuss the intentional, premeditated derailment ofAmtrak’s Sunset Limited in Hyder, Arizona on October 9, 1995, an act describedby Amtrak President, Tom Downs, as an act of “cowardice.”
However, before discussing the specific factssurrounding the derailment, I would like to provide you with some preliminaryinformation about Amtrak, the rail industry in general, and the role ofgovernment agencies, who work collectively to ensure that the passengers andrailroads of America remain safe and secure.
Railroad transportation as a mode of travel has been afixture in this country for centuries. Rail has many advantages over air andhighway travel, including: lowercosts, reduced pollution and dependence on foreign oil, and overall safety.
In 1970, to promote and consolidate passenger travelthroughout the United States, Congress created AMTRAK, known also as theNational Railroad Passenger Corporation (NRPC).
Today, Amtrak operates approximately 220 intercitytrains over 24,000 miles of track, directly serving America’s communities in 45states. Amtrak also provides contractual commuter rail service, like here inSan Jose.
Amtrak has established corporate values and goals toensure the quality of the transportation service it is providing. These valuesand goals relate to customers, employees, excellence, and integrity. Ourcustomers come first, and our employees strive to deliver a service thatexceeds customer expectations. This responsibility includes providing for thesafety and security of our passengers. This is a threshold issue for thecorporation. In fact, nothing is considered more important than our commitmentto the safety and security of our passengers.
Statistically, according to the Federal RailroadAdministration, there were five passenger deaths attributed to passengerservice in 1994. In 1995, there were no reported passenger fatalities.Unfortunately, the number of passenger fatalities thus far in 1996 has alreadysurpassed the combined total number recorded for the previous two years, due tothe recent accident involving an Amtrak train and a Maryland Rail Commuter(MARC) train. The MARC accident occurred during the late afternoon hours onFriday, February 16, 1996. Eleven MARC commuter passengers lost their liveswhen the train collided with the Chicago-bound Amtrak Capitol Limited, as itwas switching tracks in the vicinity of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Non-fatal injuries to passengers are also a primaryconcern of Amtrak and other rail transit and commuter agencies. Statistics showthat most of the injuries sustained by passengers involved in train accidentconsist of minor bruises and sprains. Less common injuries include lacerations,fractures, and burns.
To correctly analyze the prevention of harm topassengers, it is appropriate to distinguish Amtrak’s “duty of care”–to ensurethe safety of its passengers, from Amtrak’s “duty of care”–to ensure thesecurity of its passengers. Safety involves the prevention of accidental harmcaused by unforeseen or foreseeable hazardous conditions, or inherentlydangerous activities. Security, on the other hand, involves the prevention ofintentional acts of harm involving criminal or illegal conduct. Security seeksto recognize and deter those persons in society who would intentionally hurtpeople or destroy property.
Nonetheless, although the two areas are distinct, thereis a substantial overlap between the two responsibilities. Usually, police andsecurity forces are the first responders to accidents, often counted upon toreduce the consequences of unintentional harm. Likewise, passenger safetyincludes the recognition of suspicious activities and the deterrence ofperpetrators from committing crimes. In face, in many states, onboard trainconductors have limited authority to take police action by statue.
Distinguishing safety from security is importantbecause of the ramifications associated with prevention. For example, as willbe related shortly, an accidental derailment in Hyder, Arizona, would not haveoccurred, because the railroad’s signal system would have alerted the engineer,in advance, that the track was unsafe. In contrast, by intentionally wiring ashunt to the rail, the perpetrator(s) duplicated a “safe rail condition,”causing the locomotive engineer to proceed as if nothing was wrong.
Prevention of intentional acts, the security dilemma,discloses that a significant key to minimization is the security consciousnessof the men and women who work in the rail industry. Security, along withsafety, must be everyone’s responsibility, and rail workers who are out andabout working on the rails must examine rail conditions for acts of sabotage orvandalism. Rail workers must be trained to critically assess the differencebetween normal wear and tear, such as angle bar bolts backing off because ofvibration, and angle bar bolts intentionally loosened to cause a derailment. Inall cases where observation suggests suspicious activity, railroad police mustbe notified to conduct an investigation.
Along with rail workers and rail police, the nation’sfederal transportation agencies are also dedicated to the prevention of harm tothe traveling public. The mission and goals of the Department ofTransportation, Federal Transit Administration, Federal RailroadAdministration, and the National Transportation Safety Board all includestatements, such as: to ensure the safety of all forms of transportation; tomaximize security and safety of transit systems for service users; to determinethe probable cause of transportation accidents; and to formulate safetyrecommendations to improve transportation safety. More specific comments aboutfederal activities in this regard will be made later in the body of the report.
When Congress created Amtrak, it recognized the needfor a dedicated police force to protect the passengers and assets of therailroad. Statutory authority for the Amtrak Police Department resulted underSection 104.305.45, United States Code 545J. Under this authority, Amtrakexpends in excess of 24.5 million dollars a year to ensure the security of itspassengers. Approximately 18 million dollars of this money is allocated toAmtrak’s uniformed police division and 2 million dollars to criminalinvestigations. The corporate budget also supports the Office of Amtrak’sInspector General.
Amtrak’s 346 police officers are assigned to 28reporting locations throughout the United States. The majority, over 82%, areassigned to locations in the Boston, MA to Washington, DC area. This territory,known as the Northeast Corridor, consists of 621 miles of railroad which Amtrakowns and operates.
Outside the corridor, on the remaining 23,000 plus milesof its routes, Amtrak depends on America’s independently owned freightrailroads to maintain the tracks and provide for national passenger service.This is accomplished through contractual operating agreements between Amtrakand freight lines which must provide upgraded rail conditions to facilitateAmtrak’s higher speeds. Amtrak also contracts with freight carriers forsecurity through operating agreements. For example, in the State of Arizona,Amtrak maintains an operating agreement with the Southern Pacific Railway tooperate over its railroad. A total of eight Southern Pacific Railway policeofficers assigned throughout the State of Arizona provide police service asrequired.
As information, there are approximately 2,000 railroadspecial agents and police officers throughout the United States. Also, the24,000 passenger miles of track mentioned represent about 21% of the total110,425 of railroad track traveled by freight traffic. What this makes clear isthat there is a tremendous dependence on federal, state, county, municipal, orother law enforcement agencies to protect this country’s rail infrastructure.
Now that the background information has been provided, Iwill discuss the crime: On Monday, October 9, 1995, at 2:13 AM (Mountain Time),Amtrak Train #1, The Sunset Limited derailed approximately 59 miles southwestof Phoenix, Arizona on the Southern Pacific’s Gila Sub Division, Phoenix Line.
The passenger train was the first to pass thislocation since a Southern Pacific freight train traveled through 18 hourspreviously.
The Sunset Limited, en route from New Orleans to LosAngeles, was traveling at approximately 50 miles per hour when two engines andeight cars derailed. Two sleeping cars and the diner car fell 30 feet from atrestle into a dry river bed.
The Sunset Limited carried 248 passengers and 20Amtrak crew members. As a result of the derailment, 65 were injured and oneAmtrak on board service employee, Mitchell Bates, age 58, was killed. Propertydamage to the Amtrak cars and engines was estimated as exceeding $2,979,000.
The subsequent investigation into the crime determinedthat the train was intentionally derailed. Notes found at the scene identifieda previously unknown anti-U.S. government terrorist group, the “Sons ofGestapo,” as responsible for this act. References to both “Ruby Ridge” and“Waco” were contained in the notes.
The perpetrators of the derailment committed the crimeby removing a total of 29 spikes from the rails. Nuts and bolts were alsoremoved from the rail joints which hold the sections of rails together, and therail joints themselves were removed from the rails. A wire was spliced to thebond wire of the signal system so that the signal, observed by the engineer,would display a “green” signal to proceed at maximum authorized speed. Afterthe wire had been spliced, the loosened 39 foot section of rail was movedinward, causing the rail to be “out of gauge.” The rail was then spiked in its precarious position so thatit could not go back “in gauge.” The placement of the “out of gauge” rail, atop a 30 foot bridge, causeda number of the train cars to tumble over sideways into the dry wash. Both leadlocomotives and the first car in the consist were propelled forward, runningaground, but not tipping over.
Immediately following the derailment, police and rescueworkers were dispatched to the scene. The derailment site was in the remotestof desert-like locations, approximately 18 miles from the nearest paved road. TheMaricopa County Sheriff’s Department was the first law enforcement agency onthe scene. In all, over 50 deputies and volunteers assisted. Thirty-fiveambulances responded from Maricopa County and numerous communities. Helicoptersfrom Maricopa County, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the NationalGuard, and Air Evac transported the injured.
A total of sixteen railroad police officers,consisting of eight members of the Southern Pacific Railway and eightDetectives from the Amtrak Police Department, responded. And, in addition, over150 agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were brought in asthe lead agency to conduct the investigation.
Early on, the derailment site was determined to be acrime scene. The site was sealed, with Southern Pacific Railway Policeestablishing a security ring in the immediate area, and the Maricopa Sheriff’sDepartment establishing a nine mile perimeter. Everyone located within theperimeter was interviewed by the FBI or local authorities. By 9:30 AM, FBIevidence collection teams began searching the area and collecting evidence,which lasted throughout the following day.
In addition to the law enforcement response, theFederal Railroad Administration (FRA) sent inspectors to the area, and theNational Transportation Safety Board sent in a team, as per federal guidelines,to examine the derailment site for cause and to ensure that the railroad wasoperating within federal regulations.
Both the Amtrak Police Department (APD) and the FBIestablished 1-800 numbers for anyone wanting to call with information regardingthe derailment. Also, a reward fund of $100,000 was established for anyinformation leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s). Thisreward will be offered again during the airing of an upcoming “UnsolvedMysteries” episode regarding the derailment.
The derailment remains under active investigation, with acommand center operating in the FBI Office in Phoenix, Arizona. The commandcenter is manned by agents of the FBI, together with a member from the AmtrakPolice Department, the Southern Pacific Railway Police Department, and theMaricopa County Sheriff’s Department.
At this time, it is appropriate to address the variousstate and federal statutes that apply to the derailment incident:
Title 18 United States Code, Section 1992, knowninformally as the Train Wreck Statute states in pertinent part that:
Whoeverwillfully derails, disables, or wrecks any train…operated, or employed ininterstate…commerce by any railroad; or (who) makes…any tunnel, bridge,viaduct, trestle, track, signal, or any other way, structure,property…unworkable or hazardous…with the intent to derail, disable, or wreck atrain…shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than twentyyears, or both. Whoever is convicted of any such crime, which has resulted inthe death of any person, shall be subject also to the death penalty or toimprisonment for life…
Federal law also applies to the destruction ofproperty moving in interstate commerce. Title 18 United States Code, Section1281, states that:
“(a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully todestroy or injure any property moving in interstate or foreign commerce in thepossession of a common or contract carrier by railroad, motor vehicle, oraircraft, or willfully to attempt to destroy or injure any such property.”
The penalty for violation of this statute is a fine notmore than $5,000 or imprisonment of more than ten years, or both.
Perpetrator(s) of the derailment are also subject toprosecution under Arizona State law. The crimes include first degree murder,aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, as well as criminal damage toproperty.
If, in fact, this crime when solved is determined tobe an act of terrorism, the federal conspiracy code would apply. Title 1 8United States Code, 371, states that:
“If two or more persons conspireeither to commit any offense against the United States…or any agency thereof inany manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act toeffect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title orimprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
Additional legislation was introduced on February 1,1996, by Representative Susan Molinari (R-NY), in part, because of the Hyder,Arizona, derailment. H.R. 2949, titled the “Railroad and Transit SabotagePrevention Act of 1995,” is designed to strengthen federal law with respect tothe prohibitions against and penalties for acts which sabotage or otherwisethreaten the safety of rail transportation and mass transit.
The proposed legislation, submitted jointly to theHouse Committees on Transportation & Infrastructure and Judiciary, wouldmake the intentional interference with a rail signal system a federal violationpunishable by fine, imprisonment or both, for up to 20 years. The Bill wouldalso permit judges to sentence to death individuals who will fully causehazardous materials to be released from trains, if the emitted hazmat killssomeone.
I have taken the liberty of providing copies of theproposed legislation, and strongly encourage your support for its passagethrough your respective Congressional representatives.
To restate the issue, the question presented iswhether the Arizona derailment could have been predetermined. To answer thisquestion requires, in part, a brief discussion of the current state of signaltechnology and other preventive systems in use.
Today, the movement of most trains is governed bysignal systems, among which is the Automatic Block Signal System (ABS). ABS isa system in which the train’s use of each block, or section of railroad, isgoverned by an automatic block signal, cab signal, or both. An automatic blocksignal is electronically activated either by track circuit, or in conjunctionwith interlocking or controlled point circuits. This block signal automaticallyindicates to the train engineer the track condition and block occupancy of thatsection of railroad. A cab signal is a signal system located in the operatingcab of the locomotive which also indicates track occupancy or condition. Cabsignals are used in conjunction with interlocking signals and with blocksignals.
The Arizona derailment occurred along a single maintrack territory, equipped with an Automatic Block Signal (ABS) system, arrangedfor movements in both directions. Additionally, the movement of trains wasgoverned by a train dispatcher through Direct Traffic Control (DTC), which wassupplemented by the signal indications of the ABS system. This was not CABsignal territory on the Phoenix Line.
If a train is occupying a section of track within ablock, or a section of rail within that block becomes separated or obstructed,a wayside signal will display a red stop indication. The train’s engineer isrequired to bring the train to a stop and notify the dispatcher for furtherinstructions.
On October 12, 1995, shunt tests were conducted forthe signals at the Arizona derailment site. With the rails separated at thislocation, the tests showed that the signal aspects indicated that the signalswere functioning correctly.
In other areas of the country, Centralized TrafficControl (or CTC), is the predominant system in use. For example, on Amtrak’sNortheast Corridor, the movement of trains between Washington, DC and Trenton,NJ and between New Haven, CT and Boston, MA is governed by a system ofCentralized Traffic and Electrification Control (or CTEC).
The underlying functions of today’s signal systemconsists of the use of a low voltage electric current which, when compromisedor broken, transmits a warning that there is a problem with the track ahead.
Signal technology and all other safety related aspectsof railroad operations are governed by federal regulations and railroadoperating rules. These rules cover such elements as speed limits, movement oftrains, and the inspection of equipment. In developing, revising, and enforcingthese rules, federal regulators and the railroads constantly examine, analyze,and test their application against actual conditions. In fact, railroadoperations are among the most heavily regulated and inspected activities in theUnited States.
Among other requirements, all railroads are requiredto perform periodic track inspections. All tracks must be inspected a minimumof twice, within a seven day period, with at least one day between inspections.
With regard to the Arizona derailment, inspectionswere conducted in accordance with regulation by the Southern Pacific trackinspectors who utilize track geometry measuring cars to identify trackstructure defects. These cars mechanically inspect trackage for exceptions inalignment, in profile, in gauge, in cross level, and in warp.
Along with signal control and track inspection,railroads depend on “trip reports” which a locomotive engineer completes andsubmits to identify potentially hazardous conditions.
What should be readily apparent from this review, isthat with the exception of the signal system, there is no other real timemethod of detecting a hazardous rail condition. This is not to say thatimprovements to the current systems in use today are not being considered. TheDepartment of Transportation has recently conducted research in advancedsignals processing technology. The work consists of an adaptation ofintelligence community technology to improve both rail safety and security.Conceptually, the technology will identify not only intentional railseparations, but normal wear and tear in rail as well. The Federal RailroadAdministration anticipates continuing research into the technology over thenext four months at facilities in Pueblo, Colorado.
Also, to improve the locational ability of railcarriers, Global Positioning System (GPS) is being evaluated. GPS is atechnology pioneered by the United States Army, currently in use in someforeign countries and, in this country, by some trucking companies. GPS tracksships, trucks, trains, and other modes of transportation by satellite to withinapproximately ten feet of their actual position. The Federal RailroadAdministration is currently conducting tests of this system between Portlandand Seattle.
In summary, what is important to recognize is thatcurrently technology is designed for the prevention of accidental harm and notas security against intentional acts. As is quickly observable in the Arizonaderailment, the safety systems of railroads can be thwarted by those intent oncausing harm. This is the nature of the safety versus security dilemmamentioned previously.
At this point, what remains is to evaluate thecapacity of police or security forces to have predicted the intentionalderailment. This evaluation should start with a short history of intentionalacts of derailment:
Fifty-seven years ago, in 1939, the worst case ofrailroad vandalism in history took place when the Southern Pacific Railroad’sstreamliner, The City of San Francisco, was derailed near Harney, Nevada. Inremarkable similarity to the Arizona derailment, spikes had been removed fromthe tracks and the wiring that would have warned the engineer that somethingwas wrong was bypassed. As the train rounded a curve, it jumped the tracks andplunged downward, killing 24 people and injuring more than 110 others.Newspapers demanded a nationwide investigation in search of the saboteurs, anddespite an offer of $10,000 reward, no one was ever arrested.
On August 12, 1992, two U.S. Coast Guardsmenintentionally derailed the Amtrak Colonial in Newport News, Virginia. In thatderailment, a switch padlock was cut and the alignment of the tracks waschanged. The Colonial, traveling at 79 miles per hour entered a siding, and theforce of the sudden change in direction threw the train from the tracks.Fortunately, no one was killed. Ensuing investigation led to the arrest of thecriminals, both of whom pled guilty to violating the Federal Train WreckStatute. They received sentences of 17-1/2 years and 16-1/2 years in federalprison.
In a third incident, occurring in the last two months,sabotage was suspected in the wreck of a runaway Burlington Northern Santa Fefreight train. On February 1, 1996, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the train haulinglumber, grain, and other cargo descended a hill into a Canadian PacificRailroad Yard. Traveling at 50 miles per hour, the train derailed in the yardafter striking several parked locomotives. The crash resulted in the derailmentof 44 cars and 6 locomotives. A one-story office building was also destroyed.Fortunately, again no one was killed. In this particular incident, the brakesdid not have sufficient air pressure to stop the train, and the investigationis focusing on the brakes and whether they were intentionally disabled.
In retrospect, how society prevents intentional acts is amixture of policy, criminal justice, and morality. We seek to deter people fromcriminal conduct through law and social control. Police and the courts attemptto identify and then punish those who are motivated to go outside the law.
Police in particular, through proper training, gatheringof intelligence, and deployment of sophisticated equipment and techniques workto prevent crime as well as capture the criminal. And yet, as shown by theexamples of the wrecks of the City of San Francisco, the Colonial, and theSunset Limited, the police are not always successful.
I would like to stop here in the analysis of this issue;however, Hyder, Arizona, brings a new element into the crime prevention aspectas it relates to surface transportation, and that element is terrorism. TheHyder derailment represents the first known purported attack against surface transportationon U.S. soil that allegedly was motivated by terrorism.
In truth, whether the Sunset Limited was derailedintentionally by the “Sons of Gestapo” in retaliation for government action at“Ruby Ridge” and “Waco” is in dispute. Notes at the derailment scene indicatedthis; however, it is also possible that these notes were left by theperpetrators to increase difficulty for law enforcement in identifying the truemotive.
Nonetheless, as evidence by the bombing of the WorldTrade Center in New York on February 26, 1993, and the federal building inOklahoma City on April 19, 1995, the United States is no longer immune toterroristic acts of violence against its citizens.
Terrorism is defined as, “the unlawful use of force orviolence committed by a group, or two or more individuals, against persons orproperty to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or anysegment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
At a recent conference, February 26-28, 1996, in Atlanta,Georgia, the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal TransitAdministration (FTA), and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Centersponsored a seminar to specifically address terrorism and its impact on surfacetransportation in the United States. Secretary Fredrico PeĖa of DOT discussedrecent intelligence estimates, which indicated that in today’s globalenvironment, there is a four times greater potential of being a victim ofterrorism on surface transportation.
Since 1991, twenty percent of all terrorist attacks,worldwide, have involved transportation. In 1995 alone, there were 170 violentattacks. Just as alarming, from the rail perspective, terrorism is shifting itstargeting from airlines and airports, towards trains, buses, and subways. Railtransportation, particularly Amtrak, because of its nationwide venue,represents a highly visible symbol of government to terrorists. Probably mostAmerican citizens have seen a red, white, and blue Amtrak train cross thehorizon. In addition, the rail transportation’s sheer quantity of exposurepoints, which include stations, train cars, bridges, signals, tunnels, andtrack make it a decidedly vulnerable target. And, finally, rail transportationis an attractive target for terrorism because of the concentrations of largenumbers of people, and the randomness of attacking innocent people, whichheightens fear levels.
In the summer of 1995, a national intelligenceestimate singled out transportation nodes and hubs and recommended precautionbe taken to reduce the potential threat. Since August 1995, the DOT, inconjunction with the FRA and FTA, has issued a total of threetransportation-related terrorism advisories to the rail industry.
In regard to this nation’s policy concerning terrorism,the President of the United States on June 21, 1995, issued PresidentialDecision Directive 39 (PDD-39), which states: “America…(will) use allappropriate means to deter, defeat, and respond to all terrorist attacks on ourterritory and resources, both people and facilities, wherever they occur.” PDD-39 directs that special efforts beconducted to ensure American security against terrorist acts in two areas thatimpact on the rail industry: first, the review of government facilities andcritical national infrastructure; and, second, reduction of vulnerabilitiesaffecting U.S. airports, aircraft passengers and shipping, and the provision ofappropriate security measures for other modes of transportation. United States’policy on terrorism is: 1) to employ efforts to deter, apprehend, and prosecuteterrorists; 2) to work closely with other governments to carry outcounter-terrorism policy and combat terrorist threats against them; 3) toidentify sponsors of terrorists, isolate them, and ensure they pay for theiractions; and 4) to make no concessions to terrorists.
To better frame today’s current potential forterrorism directed at surface transportations requires a brief examination ofthe types of incidents occurring throughout the world. In this regard, it isappropriate to note the lesson of the Sunset Limited derailment, namely thatthe United States in concededly a part of, and not an observer to, terrorismdirected at surface transportation.
Great Britain: On February 18, 1996, a bomb destroyeda double-decker bus in London near Trafalgar Square. The explosion blew off thefront of the bus and tore the top off, spraying the area with shards of metaland glass. Eight passengers on the bus were seriously injured. London’s vastpublic transportation system, just like that of the United States, isparticularly vulnerable to attack because of the hundreds of thousands ofpassengers moving on and off its buses, subways, and rail lines almost aroundthe clock.
France: On July 25, 1995, at 5:30 PM (rush hour), aviolent explosion occurred at the front of the sixth car of Train PSIT 30 as itwas nearing its normal stopping position in the Saint-Michel Notre Dame Stationin Paris. The explosion resulted in a fireball with a measured temperature ofover 3,000°Cat its epicenter. Fortunately, the fireproof materials utilized in the car’sconstruction resisted the fireball and the vehicle did not catch fire.Nonetheless, the number of victims was high: 7 dead and 80 injured, 14 of whomwere serious.
Japan: On March 20, 1995, at 8:00 AM (rush hour), theKasumigaseki Subway Station in the heart of Tokyo was the prime target for therelease of the deadly chemical nerve gas, Sarin. Commuters at the station, aswell as at sixteen other stations all over central Tokyo on three subway lineswere struck down by severe fits of coughing, choking and vomiting. Subwaycollapsed, one after another, as they tried to remove punctured nylonpolyethylene bags wrapped in newspaper, from which the deadly poison gas wascoming. In all, twelve people died and 5,500 were injured as terror struck atthe heart of the Japanese nation. Japan, like the United States, had long beenconsidered a safe nation, but this image was shattered by the terrorist attackon the Tokyo Subway Station.
Israel: Between February 25 and March 4, 1996, Israelsuffered from its worst week of terrorism in history. A total of four bombingsoccurred in nine days, resulting in the death of 61 people with scores ofothers injured. Two of the bombings targeted buses, representing the seventhand eighth attack directed at surface transportation in Israel since April1994. All but one of the explosions involved a suicide bomb.
Returning to America’s rail transportation system, in1994, the railroad police section of the Association of American Railroads(AAR) compiled statistics that disclosed that a total of 12,280 incidents ofvandalism had occurred nationwide. The annual cost attributed to these acts wasapproximately 5.2 million dollars. The AAR statistics, however, are underinclusive,accounting for approximately 61% of total U.S. rail miles. Unfortunately, manyof the nation’s smaller railroads do not capture or centrally report crimeinformation. Also, the FBI, through the National Crime Information Center(NCIC), does not separate crime against railroads in its current classificationsystem.
Signal vandalism accounted for approximately 3,000 ofthe offenses, while 154 were reported in the category “vandalism resulting inderailment.” It is important tomention that none of the vandalism derailment involved passenger trains.However, as addressed by Representative Molinari in H.R. 2949, there is, andshould be, a tremendous concern about the potential for the willful, deliberatederailment of a freight train carrying hazardous materials.
Law enforcement’s response to terrorism directed atsurface transportation is obviously of critical importance to the nation. Astated by the Secretary of Transportation at the February 1996 Conference inAtlanta, federal, state, and local authorities in coordination with railcarriers must act to reduce the potential for violence to the transportationindustry’s passengers, employees, and infrastructure. To assist, the DOT hascreated the Office of Intelligence & Security (OIS) which reports directlyto the Office of the Secretary. OIS collects, analyzes, and disseminatesinformation about potential threats to the transportation industry, boththrough advisories, and through circulars and information products. Currently,an OIS/AAR project is underway in which secured government communications willbe installed in the offices of the railroad police authorities to facilitatethe real time dissemination of threat information from the federal agencies.OIS maintains a 24 hour telephone number (1-800-424-8802).
As mentioned, the DOT’sresponse is supported by the activities of a host of other federal agenciesthrough the federal response plan. These include: the Department of Defense(DOD); the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the Public HealthService (PHS); the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and the Department ofJustice (DOJ), principally through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). As mentionedpreviously, the response to the Hyder, Arizona, derailment includedmobilization of a number of these federal agencies.
State and local law enforcement agencies also have amajor role in deterring terrorism, particularly acts of domestic terrorism suchas the bombing in Oklahoma City, which allegedly involved fringe elements ofmilitia groups, or the derailment of the Sunset Limited purportedly by the“Sons of Gestapo” in retaliation for “Waco” and “Ruby Ridge.”
Most important for us to recognize is that at the centerof prevention is awareness. While not all incidents can be prevented, steps canbe taken to harden rail systems. Foremost, this includes education and trainingto prepare rail employees to be cognizant of potential threats and to regularlymonitor vital and vulnerable targets for tampering or suspicious devices. Sucha program requires coordination between police and employees, and must belinked to an effective intelligence gathering component that analyzes threatsand supports informed decision making. Detailed contingency planning must beperformed, along with field exercises, to evaluate the effectiveness of theresponse. And finally the use of standardized formats, such as the IncidentCommand System (ICS) or California’s Standardized Emergency Management System(SEMS), is mandatory. The strength of such systems is in their ability toassist in the capture and organization of situational information.
As mentioned, there are over 110,000 miles of railroadtracks in the United States, traveled by both passengers and freight traffic.Securing such a vast jurisdiction is a daunting responsibility, primarilyperformed by the men and women of the various railroad police agencies of theUnited States. These officers are assisted in a major way by the 270,000 employeesof America’s railroads and the thousands of employees of the nation’sinner-city transit systems who take their duty to maintain the safety of thisnation’s passengers very seriously.
Could Hyder have been predicted? Probably not anymore than any otherrandom act of intentional violence committed by an individual or individualswho act with indifference towards the sanctity of human life and well being.However, we in the transportation industry and in the community at large cantake steps to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence.
One example of such cooperation, appropriate to highlightbecause it occurred in Arizona, happened on February 9, 1996. In Goodyear,Arizona, seven miles west of Phoenix, the Goodyear Police Department arrestedan individual adjacent to the railroad for a traffic violation. A routinesearch of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of what appeared to beexplosives. Goodyear Police contacted the Southern Pacific Railway Police whodispatched track patrols from two directions, checking approximately 100 milesof track. Amtrak Train #1, the Sunset Limited, was delayed about one and a halfhours to facilitate the track inspection. As it turned out, the tracks wereclear, and the explosives were found to be inert. However, this does notdetract from the significance of the work performed by those involved. Securityconsciousness demands that such incidents be taken quite seriously.
I would like to thank the distinguished members of theInternational Institute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies, mycolleagues in the railroad industry, and my fellow law enforcement officers,both in this nation and abroad, for their recognition of the tragedy of Hyder,Arizona, and their commitment to maintaining our rail infrastructure as thiscountry’s safest mode of public transportation.
And as a postscript, I would like to read a shortexcerpt from the Washington Timesnewspaper, entitled “Railroad Blues,” The editorial was written two days afterthe Arizona derailment.
“An Amtrak Police officerpulled up alongside the heavily traveled railroad tracks that run parallel toNew York Avenue NE just after 8:30 a.m. yesterday. He climbed out of his markedcruiser–‘Amtrak Police–Protecting a Nation In Transit’–adjusted his holster andcarefully stepped over three sets of worn rails.
The policeman walked north, on a dirty bed ofbroken glass reflecting fresh graffiti, in the direction of the Anacostia Riverand a trestle that supports speeding Amtrak trains– several dozen a day enroute from Washington, New York and points beyond, all the way to the sands ofArizona. At every switch box the officer would stop to study the tracks, andthen the signal lights overhead. Satisfied both were in sync, he moved on,until he disappeared out of sight.
For this railroad cop, and hundreds like himpatrolling the thousands of miles of rails that crisscross the country in thewake of Monday’s train derailment in Arizona, it was his first day walking aterrifying new beat.”
(furtherinformation available in appendices)
The next speaker is DenisJackson who is the Vice President for Technical Operations with AmericanMedical Response (AMR) West. He is responsible for a territory that includesOregon, Washington, California, and Hawaii. Mr. Jackson has extensiveexperience and broad expertise in Medical Incident Command and is responsiblefor communications dispatch and its association in response to mass casualtydisasters. A former fire fighter and paramedic, Denis is here to address theemergency response to terrorist attack.
At 9:02 on the morning of April 19, 1995, a tremendousexplosion ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtownOklahoma City. 168 people, including 19 children, were killed. The count offatalities was originally 169, but that has been dropped down by one as bodyparts were more closely identified.
Within 90 seconds of the explosion, Oklahoma’sEmergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), staffed with American MedicalResponse paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians had 24 medical personnelin 7 ambulances enroute to the site.
Within 3 minutes, EMSA/American Medical Responseparamedics were on the scene and starting to triage and treat the injured.
Within 6 minutes, AMR personnel had set up theincident command structure that would allow the organized treatment andtransport of the injured patients.
EMSA/AMR was responsible for the transport of 215patients, with 210 patients transported within the first hour.
EMSA/AMR had 127 of its 131 medical personnel involvedin the disaster response.
Good Afternoon. My name is Denis Jackson. I am VicePresident of Technical Operations for American Medical Response West.
AMR West provides the California Bay Area and CentralValley with emergency and non-emergency paramedic ambulanceservices-contracting for 911 primary response. In California alone, we answerthe request for medical aid over one thousand times a day.
We are part of the American Medical Response Inc.family, the leading ambulance company, operating in 27 states and 24 Californiacounties. Nationally we serve a population base of more than 14 million.
Yes, our company is the largest of its kind in thenation, both in area services and annual call volume.
But our local AMR staff of 2,314 is part of the fabricof the region we all live in.
We are your neighbors.
Our kids go to school with your kids.
We attend the same churches, synagogues and temples.
We go to the same stores and restaurants.
Our paramedics and other medical response team membersare on the front lines of emergency health care in the Bay Area and CentralValley every hour of every day.
Our crews have provided more advanced life support andparamedic care–from helping kids who have fallen off their bikes to theOklahoma City bombing–than any other single organization in America.
We feel it is our responsibility to share theknowledge and experience we’ve gained first hand, so emergency response can beimproved and lives can be saved.
That’s why we have recently recommended to Congressand to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) a number of majoremergency response reforms, including the creation of national training andperformance standards for organizations that can potentially respond todisasters. The paramedics involved in the rescue efforts on April 19 alsosuggested to Congress “Readiness Ratings” for emergency rescue organizations,stating their better communication structures should be created to acquaintlocal organizations with federal services available during an emergency.
We feel that, given the awful increase in man-made andnatural catastrophes across America in recent years, it is critical that ournation enhance its ability to respond to disasters by developing andencouraging performance standards for responding agencies.
We all hope that a tragedy like Oklahoma City is neverrepeated, but incidents such as the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building andthe World Trade Center and the Arizona Amtrak derailment demonstrate thatAmerica is no longer safe from large-scale terrorist activities.
It seems major earthquakes have become a yearlyoccurrence in California.
Floods, fires and airplane crashes are unfortunatefacts of American life.
And, of course, train derailments, air crashes, such asSioux City, Iowa, and the Oklahoma City bombing demonstrate that no part of theUnited States, no matter how remote, is immune from large-scale disaster.
Our paramedics and emergency medical technicians havebeen among those who have seen those tragedies up-close and personally.
Frequently, we are among the first rescue workers onscene.
In major incidents, we send crews from around thecountry to assist.
We dispatched assistance from California and Connecticutto Oklahoma City after the bombing.
Most rescue workers in such disasters are dedicated,well-trained and committed to their duties while facing incredible pressures.
Long hours, physical peril and emotional stress take aheavy toll on all rescue personnel.
Yet there always continues to be room for improvement.
Congressman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma stated, “Themedical emergency professionals of EMSA/[AMR] were on the scene of the Murrahbombing literally seconds after the blast, treating innocent victims of anunthinkable crime. I’m certain their front line experience in responding to adisaster of this magnitude will provide a valuable case study in the event of afuture catastrophe, be it a natural disaster or, God forbid, another terrorist action.”
Our experience has taught us in very personal termsthat there are a number of areas in which reforms could lead to significantimprovements.
This summer, as I mentioned, an American MedicalResponse team was invited to brief Congress, making six recommendations toCongress and FEMA for reform of our emergency response systems–hoping topromote the feasibility of federal legislation or regulations.
These recommendations were part of the first formalevaluation and report stemming from the Oklahoma City tragedy. Theserecommendations have also been presented to the American Ambulance Associationand to the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Letme tell you about those six proposals:
1. All on-scene commandstructure personnel–the operations managers, chiefs, supervisors–should meetminimum requirements through attending disaster management courses, such asincident command and local disaster planning and education.
We were fortunate that theEmergency Medical Services Agency/American Medical Response team–our Oklahomaorganization–had recently participated with other Oklahoma agencies in disastertraining.
We are convinced that this specialized training savedlives, of both those injured in the initial blast, and of the responding publicsafety personnel.
2. Each agency shouldbe required to put in a minimum number of training hours per employeeconcentrating on disaster management. Each agency and the agency’spersonnel–all of them–should participate in a minimum number of exercises withother disaster response organizations.
In Oklahoma City, EMSA/AMRemployees receive approximately 10 hours per year of disaster managementtraining and participate in two practice exercises and one field drill a yearwith other agencies.
As a result, the first crews on scene in Oklahoma Cityknew how to set up an incident command structure quickly. Other respondingpersonnel knew how their job and responsibilities fit into the structure,another life-saving advantage.
When I mention all of the personnel, I am makingreference to every person within the organization, from the persons who answerthe business telephone, the supply clerks, the mechanics and facilitiesmanagers, to the actual responses. All members of the team play a vital role insupport of the patient and those in need.
While we are sometimes our own best critics, theutilization of “evaluators” from outside your organization, outside yourspecialty (but within public safety) can provide a fresh look, a newperspective, an unbiased opinion. Remember the purpose of these exercises ordrills is not to look good, but rather to learn, to identify those areas ofweakness, to see where we can improve.
3. Command team membersshould be fully educated on available state and federal disaster responseservices and how to request those services.
Again, as a result of theemergency response course shortly before the incident, EMSA/AMR and otherOklahoma disaster management agencies were able to quickly enlist theassistance of state and federal support agencies such as FEMA, the NationalGuard and state and local emergency management agencies.
4. Emergency responseorganizations should be rated on their state of readiness measured by nationalstandards for equipment availability and amount of disaster planning andtraining.
Although EMSA/AMR was preparedwith plenty of disaster response medical supplies, there is no nationalstandard regarding the types and quantities of supplies needed for largecasualty incidents. Few agencies have accurate “up to date” information readilyon hand. If you do, my congratulations to you and your organization–you areahead of the curve.
In theory, the call for potential assistance shouldoccur before you hear of the event on the news.
5. A national CriticalIncident Stress Debriefing (CISD) program should be developed to offer servicesto rescue workers emotionally shaken by their work in saving lives andrecovering the dead. While CISD is a term used with local chapters, there is nonationwide coordination of resources during a disaster. Local CISD chaptersmust be supported and augmented with experienced team members from across thenation.
American Medical Responsepioneered a model of such a program, which we provided for rescue workers inOklahoma City.
The stress debriefing program was not fullyoperational in Oklahoma, so we had to bring in personnel from other AMRoperations around the country. This is an area that has been given littleattention in the past but which is very important for helping crews cope withthe trauma of disaster response.
Let us not just focus on those who responded to theincident, but to those who were (or were not) on duty, those who did notrespond because they were holding up the “rest of the system.” Let us notforget all of the support personnel, those behind the scenes.
6. A common-frequencyradio communications system should be set up in each local community so thatemergency response organizations can coordinate their activities and shareinformation.
Communicationremains one of the largest problems in any major disaster in our country.
As more rescue and supportorganizations arrived on scene in Oklahoma City, communications becamedifficult because various agencies were using different frequencies.
Valuable time was lost becauserunners had to be sent to different command posts to share information. Whilemany communities and states attempt to utilize a common frequency, nonationwide network is in place to accommodate this critical communication need.
All in all, the level ofcommitment and professionalism of disaster workers around this country isextremely high, but more can be done to ensure higher training standards,better resources and coordination of those resources.
National performance standardswill ensure that those workers are uniformly well-trained and prepared in ahigh-casualty disaster.
American Medical Response hasalso been a pioneer in forming service alliances with fire departmentsproviding paramedic and transport services for emergencies. Our paramedicsstaff the ambulances which respond to emergency calls. We believe it provides anational model for ambulance, out of hospital health-care and paramedicservices of the future.
In Santa Clara County, forexample, American Medical Response, in conjunction with the County and the Cityof San Jose, is helping to fund (to the tune of 1.2 million dollars) paramedictrained fire fighters in order to reduce the time it takes a paramedic to bebeside the patient by up to two minutes.
We have done similar partnershipsin Colorado and in Sacramento, with fire fighters and AMR ambulance crews nowworking side-by-side. In Sacramento, AMR will provide about 180 thousanddollars to the American River Fire District each year, which will train firedepartment paramedics at no cost to taxpayers.
At the bottom line–more paramedics will be available in anemergency.
They get there faster.
And these public/private partnerships save taxpayersmoney.
Sounds almost too good…but it’s true.
And we won’t stop here. We hope to build more private/public partnerships such as this in the months and years to come.
This is American MedicalResponse’s commitment to public safety, our commitment to responsiblepartnerships with government and our commitment to our friends and neighbors,the people of the Bay Area, California and the Nation.
It is 1830 hours (6:30 PM) on aFriday evening. Suddenly all of your telephone lines and radio networks aredark… they don’t work. Unbeknownst to you, “bad guys” have cut all telephonelines (7,400 of them) with an ax at a central point, in an attempt to knock outburglar alarm systems for a micro chip processor plant. All communication withthe outside world is non-existent.
This is not a drill.
This actually happened.
Here is the evidence.
What would you do?
Thank you for your attention and interest today. I’dbe happy to answer any questions you might have.
Q. Did I understandthat you’re advocating a single radio channel?
A. I am advocating acoordination of radio frequencies. We are advocating for a select group in theCalifornia to have the white channel for the fire and EMS side where an agencycan go anywhere else and be able to communicate. In Oklahoma there wereproblems when we brought different agencies from outside of the immediate areand tried to allow them to talk to one another.
Q. Okay,so you have a channel so you can communicate with each other? But the individual mission groups areoperating on their own channels?
A. Someof the mission groups can’t communicate with other command structures.
A. We’retalking across the nation, not in this locale specifically. In this area we’redoing the job well.
Q. Wasthere a command post set up? Isn’tthat part of the reason for the ICS–to have the command post where an individualrepresentative on their net would be controlling this flow of information?
Rod Diridon,Executive Director of IISTPS, moderated a panel discussion following thepresentations. He suggested that the panel discussion is a productive part ofthe session and encouraged all to avail themselves of the opportunity to askquestions. He began this section of the symposium by thanking the speakers, whohad now become panelists. Diridon expressed common sentiments that they weretruly outstanding and thanked them not only for their participation, but alsofor the time they had contributed to be a part of the proceedings.
Diridon opened the questions by requesting thatparticipants stay with the topic of the symposium, the preparation to thwartand the response to terrorism in the surface transportation system.
Q. I’mDale Tenbrock with the California Department of Transportation. The HighwayPatrol is the lead agency for highway events such as terrorism, bombs, and soforth. As we frequently receive bomb threats for bridges and structures andfreeway operations, we’re always struggling with how best to respond. Do weshut the system down or not? Oftenwe don’t shut the systems down; we do a quick search, sometimes run traffic blocksand so on. Our thoughts are that the threats are designed to get publicity, andif they shut a system down, the terrorist us getting satisfaction. I’d beinterested in your comments on whether we should or should not shut the systemsdown and how we might evaluate the threat and the significance of the threat?
Diridon:Why don’t we begin with Special Agent Webb and then move to others who wouldlike to respond.
A. by Agent Webb: Just so you know, CHP dispatch sends us those calls, too. There is awhole school of thought about bomb threat evaluations. And without giving a lotof things away, we look at them; we look at the time factor. How close is itgoing to be? And we look at whatkind of detail is given in the text of the call. If somebody just calls andsays there’s a bomb on the Benicia Bridge and hangs up, how are you going toscale that? In years past,particularly overseas, some groups have put in code words; that’s beenimportant also.
I don’t think there is any set answer. It’s really scenariodependent upon what they tell you. And you know some agencies will notevacuate. They will not close down. I’m sure they do that at some risk, butit’s like that old thing of the bomb threat at 2:30 in the afternoon at a highschool, on a Friday afternoon. You can kind of see through that one. You reallyhave to look at the text, at where it’s coming from.
Funny you should mention that because somebody came upto me at the break and asked about bridges and toll booths, and I said to talkto CHP because they do it. California, by the way, is advanced in a lot ofways, particularly in medical services and consequence management. A lot of itcomes from the Incident Command System. Everybody is used to it, knows how todeal with it, and is reading the same sheet of music. I’m not sure other statesare as fortunate or as lucky.
Diridon:Other panelists like to comment?
A. by Mr. Savage: I, too, think every incident is looked at individually. In New York wewould take a look at all the facts presented to us. There’s usually some leadtime, and what happens to us in New York is that the threat usually occursaround the rush hour. If the threat is that a bomb will go off in an hour, wewould attempt to transfer trains among our different lines. If we get into asituation where we can’t back a train out of that particular line, we’llcertainly bypass a station up to a certain point in time through the scenario.In the example I gave you, where let’s say we had an hour, within a half hourwe would have had the station cleared out and we would have had enough time todivert service to a number of other lines. If a train still remained on theline with a half hour, we would certainly bypass that station.
A. by Chief Frazier: I think also the preparation for these things is veryimportant. There is a bomb threat check list, and I’m sure you all use thatwhen the call comes in. You get the information about the nature of the call asspecifically as possible; try to keep that person on the phone, those sorts ofthings. Amtrak experiences a number of bomb threats throughout the systemduring any given year. What we’ve done is made sure that we have instantrecording devices at all of our reservation centers where they normally comein. That allows us to capture the call and then transmit it to the policedepartment. ATF publishes a very good bomb guide dealing with these issues.
Q. I’m John Skinner with Amtrack in Los Angeles. Yourcritical incidents report for stress is very close to me as well. And I have aquestion for Mr. Jackson. When you’re doing debriefings for response personnel,are you using a multi-tiered debriefing like professional debriefers along withpsychologists and so on?
A. by Mr. Jackson: We provide the spectrum depending on the incident.In the Oklahoma tragedy, all that was done. But we also use our CISD plan. It’sup to the lead person doing the CASD to call in the resources they deemappropriate. But that is part of the whole package and needs to be.
Q. Whatpercentage of your people in the Oklahoma bombing required some level ofcritical incidents debriefing?
A. by Mr. Jackson: 100% of them received it.
Q. I canunderstand that.
Q. DirkWassenaar, Professor of Marketing, San José State University. Question forChief Frazier, please. How do you handle working with the many local agenciesin the various jurisdictions that you do business in?
A. by Chief Frazier: I had not met the Sheriff of Santa Clara County priorto today, but the first thing he said to me was that he had adopted our captainout here in San Jose. And that’s how we work. We work very well with state andlocal officials. We spend an inordinate amount of time communicating andhopefully getting information out through the associations of law enforcementprofessionals, the Sheriffs’ Association, the International Association ofChiefs of Police, etc. We know each other on a face to face basis. That’s veryimportant in these situations. And beyond that I think I’d simply say thatpeople understand railroading. State and local officials understand a lot aboutit and over time things tend to repeat in some areas so we have the benefits ofeducation from that standpoint. As the Sheriff said here today, Captain TomMahr works for him. I didn’t know that, but that’s the way we go about doingit.
Q. My name is Guy Newgrin. ChiefFrazier, in your presentation you mentioned signal technology. I noticed thatone of the responsibilities that IISTPS has taken on is technology transfer,and you spoke about the change in voltage when somebody alters the signalwires. Similar technology has been used for many years in fire and burglaralarm systems, and I commend you for that. Do you have a plan in place forreplacement or modification of all those signals?
Something else crossed my mindwhen you said that. A few years ago I would have been hesitant to ask this, Iwould have thought it too bizarre, too impossible and impractical. But now theway technology is I guess I’m not afraid to ask anything about what can bedone. Has anybody ever thought about or looked into actually wiring–either hardwire or some other technology–the tracks themselves for tamper detection sothat if the spikes were removed or the rail realigned it would actually bedetectable?
A. by Chief Frazier: I thinkthat I’m probably not very good at answering that question because my forte ison the law enforcement side versus the signal side. I know the AmericanAssociation of Railroads and the FRA and the DOT spend considerable time andeffort at examining rail conditions and ways to go about making improvements torail systems. As I mentioned somewhat in my talk, there is a current projectunderway out of the Office of Intelligence and Security of DOT in which theyare taking a look at using intelligence community kinds of technology andtransferring that to the rails of the United States. That’s going on, or willbe going on shortly, in Pueblo.
Our trains are traveling all over the United States,and we depend on freight railroads; we also depend on dispatch services interms of locating those trains. There is a global positioning system that isbeing evaluated right now. It’s used by a trucking agency, and I know it’s inuse with buses in Israel. A recent presentation in Atlanta talked extensivelyabout that in terms of locating exactly where a vehicle is at any given time.That’s about the extent of what I know with respect to signal technology.
A. by Mr. Savage: In NewYork we have a special engineering-type of train that runs on all the track ofour system and does very specific, highly sensitive engineering readings thatmeasure the width of the track. It detects spikes and different ballasts thatstart to wear down; it’s a highly technical engineering machine.
A. by Agent Webb: If I could justfollow up on what the Chief said, the need for information exists. I never knewhow a railroad signal operated, but two weeks after, “Split-Rail” (Code Namefor Arizona Derailment) occurred, both Time and Newsweek magazines had close-ups of how the shunt was constructed. The samething happened after Oklahoma City, instructions almost, “To build your ownbomb, use this percentage of ammonium nitrate.” That’s what creates the demand to keep the information outof the public eye, but the information is still out there. I would say thatwe’re almost too generous with our information.
Q. Jim Grayburn. You provided a beautifulsegue for my question about the information that’s given out. I notice that theAmtrak derailment and the New York City token booth incidents followed fiction.I’m wondering if there is something that goes on in these instances?
A. by Mr. Savage: My ownpersonal opinion is that “The Money Train” did cause that token booth firebombing. Some people won’t agree with me for a whole host of reasons, but I sawthe movie the first week it came out. I went to one of the premiers. Theincident you’re probably referring to–where the token booth agent was killed–inmy mind was a copy-cat. It’s difficult to tell how much we educate the peoplewho do things like that by the information we give out.
Q. JimGrayburn. Tom, as a follow-up, would you recommend anything be done in regardto the kinds of movies that show that kind of violence?
A. by Mr. Savage: About two months ago one of the TV shows, “Law &Order,” had a segment about a fire bombing in the subway system. The producerswanted part of it filmed directly on one of our station platforms. We said no.In the end, city streets were used as a staging area; everything was done afterthe fact. Their original intent was to actually do the scene right on thestation platform. I was accused of being a censor, but we dug our heels in, andwe took advantage of the fact that the request came shortly after “The MoneyTrain” came out.
A. by Chief Frazier: The issue here has beenaddressed in terms of the media and law enforcement. That’s what we’ve beentalking about. But we started with publication material and mentioned theInternet. In Atlanta, an individual came from CNN and was involved with thepolice in the presentation; she was a panelist. Of course, there is always aconflict between police operations and the press about what’s known and such. Ican’t say that the Arizona derailment was caused in any way by the provision ofany information through the media; I don’t have any indication of that.Factually, the 1939 crash of the City of San Francisco was quite similar.
There are a lot of people in this country whounderstand a number of things about railroads. Now, I don’t know if they reallyhad anything to do specifically with that particular derailment, but I guess Ihedge in the same way about information dissemination. You certainly don’t wantto put out information that is going to facilitate the commission of any kindof crime at all.
A. by Agent Webb: I might mention that we’ve spoken to the author ofthat work. He wrote it as a historical railroad buff, and now everybody says heplanted the seed. I would honestly say that he’s heartsick over the linkagecreated.
Q. Barry Colin, Institute for Security andIntelligence. One of the elements that makes terrorism effective is the terrorelement. I wonder if any of the people on the panel have recommendations forthose of us in the front lines as to educating the public so that theyunderstand that while there is a threat, we can go ahead and function every dayand use the rail, use buses, use land transportation without wondering andhaving great concern. How do we educate the public?
A. by Mr. Savage: Again, let me use anexample. In New York we’ve become very aggressive about getting our systemsback in place as fast as we possibly can. The 14th Street incidentthat I referred to this morning involved a motorman, whom we believe was underthe influence, and very nearly wiped out one section of the line. We had over1,000 people working 24 hours a day to get that particular branch of the subwaysystem back in running order; we were out for only a few days. When we allowedthe news media down into the tunnel area, we did it in a pool-type ofsituation; we allowed one camera per person and only one photographer. We didthat for safety reasons; we were unsure at the time about how much damage wasactually done. A lot of people thought we would never be able to get serviceback as fast as we did, but it was important to us to get it back fast.
And, we wanted the pressinvolved to get the message out that everything was safe. I think that is thekey–you want to work with the press, let them know what the real situation isand give them plenty of valid and accurate information. You also probably wantto set some stretch goals for yourself about bringing the system back as fastas you possibly can. And then the public starts using the line again; once youget past that first days, it’s business as usual.
We have the same type of problemin New York when a water main breaks. We’re finding that a lot of our watermains are 100 years old and when they go they cause a lot of disruption to oursubway system. It really takes a team effort. The Department of Public Works,the Mayor’s office, everybody focuses on getting that piece of theinfrastructure back on line. And we find that if you do that often enough theriding public, your customers basically, develop an attitude of, “We’ll beokay, it’ll be fixed by Monday.” You hit a couple of home runs, so to speak, by bringing the lines backon quickly and safely, and it helps.
Q. Jerry Maldonado with the Alameda CountySheriff’s Department. The question is directed to Mr. Savage. How effectivehave you found video recording equipment to be in reducing criminal activityaboard buses?
A. by Mr. Savage: We really haven’t used video equipment on TransitAuthority buses. We rarely would use it unless we had some intelligenceindicating a specific crime pattern being formed. We have the expertise to pickthe right type of camera, the right type of audio equipment, install it in away that it can’t be noticed, but we really haven't had need to use it thatmuch on city buses.
Q. Tom Marr with theAmtrak Police Department. This question is directed to Tom Savage, and it hasto do with graffiti, a costly problem that occurs in every city across thenation. What is it exactly that you’re doing to keep the trainsgraffiti-free? Does thatgraffiti-free policy extend to your facilities?
A. by Mr. Savage: A fewyears ago we used our operating budget to hire about 700 cleaners. What we didwas to put those cleaners at the end of each of the subway lines we have. Whena subway train came in with a graffiti hit, we would immediately take it out ofservice. Then the cleaners at the end of the line would attack it immediatelyand eliminate the graffiti. Our idea was to eliminate the graffiti quickly,then the “artist” would not see his work.
That’s how wehandled it on a train that was in service. To protect trains that were out ofservice and at our facilities, we used our capital budget. We made investmentsin better chain link fences and in barbed wire. At one point we even pilotedusing dogs at some of the locations. It was an increase in human resources thatreally did the trick. We got word out that graffiti was unacceptable in theCity of New York, especially on our subway system. And the Transit Policebecame very aggressive. They made a number of really high profile collars.
What we found was that the public did have an opinionabout graffiti. Contrary to some of the statements that were being made, thingslike, “It’s just kids. Leave them alone, they’re not harming anybody,” thereality was that it set a tone that the system that was out of control. That’swhat we did, and we pretty much eliminated graffiti.
When we felt we had good control of that particularproblem, we were able to cut back on the number of cleaners. We did it throughattrition; a cleaner was an entry level position with the Transit Authority.
The problem we now have is withkids scratching the glass. We call it scratchfitti. And it’s tougher thangraffiti to catch because the kids are smart. They tend to travel in groups andcreate a diversion. Once that’s accomplished, it’s not very difficult to scratcha quick line across the glass. That’s the latest. And, by the way, it’s a veryexpensive problem throughout the transportation industry. We would like someoneto come up with a solution. Although it doesn’t relate to life and death likesome of the other issues we’re talking about today, it certainly does relate tothe national transportation budget.
A. by Chief Frazier: We’retrying a few pilots on that. One is using mylar, but it is extremely expensive.Then, too, when a piece of glass gets damaged to the point where you cannot seeinto the car, it becomes a clear security issue.
Q. Detective Carter, Contra Costa CountySheriff’s Department, attached to the AC Transit Unit. What types of trainingclasses, exercises or media material do you have for law enforcement to respondto a tactical situation involving rail or bus lines?
A. by Chief Frazier: There isa program that is getting underway called Operation Respond. This program isbased in Washington, DC and it grew out of some work in Texas. It provides thefirst responders to incidents (both passenger train and freight train forhazardous materials) with information about what they are going to confront. Ittells about the nature of the car, the access points, and the emergencyprocedures related to those sorts of things. This program is available rightnow and has a training center at Texas A& M University. If you would likefurther information, I can get that for you. Right now two Amtrak locomotivesand some cars are there. The locomotive, for instance, has been burned so thatyou can visualize and actually feel what you may confront. I know that courseis quite well received, particularly on the fire side. Often fire personnel arethe first to board these trains and deal with the issues. I would certainlyrecommend the program.
A. by Agent Webb: I would mention,as I did in my own talk, we put together a rail transit security group meetinglast November or December. I’m active in the local bomb association. CarolynSlezak from Amtrak Police came and gave us a slide presentation about thethings a bomb technician would do in a bomb sweep. Railroads are different;there are different voltages and different boxes that you don’t want to openwhen you don’t know what you’re opening and that kind of thing. It would behelpful to get that slide series and make it available to us. Then, there wouldbe a whole range of things. We can talk at the end of this symposium, and I cantell you when we will have a meeting of that group. It will help orient you andlet you know what’s available in your own area.
A. by Mr.Savage: With respect to training, we have an intense tracksafety course that all police officers in New York City are currently goingthrough. Again this is after the merge that occurred last year; so far we’vetrained 12,000 police officers in the basics of walking on the tracks. It’svery interesting when you attend one of these. When we teach the young policeofficers the safety basics, they’re almost in shock to find out how dangerousit is down in the subway. It gives them a better sense of how to handle asituation once they are brought into it. In addition to that, we have aseparate class for captains and above. This is sort of a critical incidenttraining class, so that when a captain or above responds to a particularsituation that person basically takes charge. We have a third set of classesthat are for the homeless outreach and vandal unit. That again deals with adifferent issue on how to handle the homeless.
Comment by Moderator Rod Diridon: Beforewe go to the next question, I would like to complement your system. One of thereasons you were asked to come here to speak is because of the very progressiveactions your public transportation system has taken toward not only theproblems of terrorism, but also the problems of vandalism. A credit to you andyour recently retired president, Alan Kiepper, who was such a model andaggressive person in terms of taking care of that problem when he was firsthired.
A. by Mr.Savage: Alan Kiepper’s an example of a Transit AuthorityPresident who really incorporated the Transit Police into the managementstructure of a large transit authority. As I said this morning, prior to themerge, the Chief of the Transit Police also carried the designation as a SeniorVice President. Alan Kiepper was intense about having this Senior VP and Chiefof Police as part of the decision making process on everything he did. And toAlan Kiepper’s credit, we reduced crime 50%, or close to 60%, during histenure. That includes serious felony crime also.
Q. Rob Vitale. I have aquick question regarding the area of training. Here at the University all staffand faculty have been asked to read documents about how to identify packagesthat may be dangerous. In fact, we recently self-tested this when we had astrange package; fortunately, it wasn’t anything dangerous. What type oftraining, education, or awareness can you provide to users of transitsystems? What should we be lookingfor? What can the lay persondevelop as far as an attitude or awareness of what’s going on so that users canbe part of the eyes and ears of the system? Or would you not want to do that type of thing?
A. by Chief Frazier:Most definitely we want users to beour eyes and ears. No question about it. Mostly what you’re looking for iswhat’s unusual. At airports, they’re getting identification at the beginningand then again right before you get on the flight. They are asking you ifanyone else packed your bag, or did anything with it, and those sorts ofthings. As you know, transportation facilities are basically wide open; thepublic comes into them, and they bring luggage. So when luggage is abandoned,or when no one can figure out whose it is, or something like that, that’s veryimportant. At Amtrak, we strive to impress upon our employees and vendors andothers who work in the facilities to report it to the police immediately whenthey see that sort of thing.
A. by AgentWebb: Surprisingly enough, we’re not the leaders in this ifyou look at what they do in Great Britain and Israel in terms of alerting thepublic. The Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard have posters immediatelyavailable. If they have a campaign on, they can hang the posters in prominentplaces and people get used to seeing them. They’re kind of like a marketingperson’s point of sale. The public gets used to seeing the posters when theyenter the stations or stops or whatever. I think there are some very welldeveloped systems around the world, and it’s just a matter of bringing theminto the United States, not reinventing the wheel. We just need to share theinformation so that everyone gets used to the level of threat, what belongs andwhat doesn’t belong. In Britain they change them frequently, even the style ofthem so they just don’t become “that old campaign poster that was hung up therein 1983.” They make it pertinentto what the issue is that day.
A. by Mr.Savage: We went out and purchased X-ray equipment for our mailrooms, and everybody at headquarters, our two central administrative buildings,became used to seeing a stamp coming across our envelope that said it waspassed through the X-ray machine. We’ve been doing that for about four or fiveyears now. It’s become a fact of life. I don’t want to say it slows the maildown once it gets into the Transit Authority, but we do it as a cost of doingbusiness.
Q. Detective Jones withthe Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department. Chief Savage, you mentioned that youdonated a bus as an experimental vehicle. Could you expand on that and let usknow when the information derived from it will be passed out?
A. by Mr.Savage: Actually, that’s happening this Monday. The FBI isinvolved, as is our New York City Police Department Emergency Rescue Unit andthe Transit Authority. It’s another example of a joint effort we make intesting and training. I can’t tell you exactly when the results are going to beavailable, but I certainly will try to get some additional information to youon them. We’re basically taking one of our excess buses, a spare factor in thefleet, and one that reflects the type of bus that we use quite a bit. It’sprobably a GMC, and they are just going to test the heck out of it.
Q. Steve Block, writer.Mr. Jackson, your people are often the first on the scene–like in OklahomaCity. Does their training include specialized techniques for preserving thecrime scene or for protecting evidence? And in conjunction with that, what happens if you need to give first aidor rescue someone from an area that the FBI or the local authority says iscritical for evidence protection.
A. by Mr.Jackson: Probably one of the most problematic areas that wedeal with is that there are different agencies each looking out for their bestinterest with regard to their responsibilities. The police agencies don’tintend to take anything away from the patient, but they are trying to recreatethe scene. To answer your question specifically, we do training with all of ourfield personnel with regard to evidence preservation. They do have the ultimateresponsibility of doing what is necessary for the patient while hopefully notbroaching over to that type of problem. But they do sometimes.
A. by AgentWebb: Steve, I’d say maybe Denis used the wrong term; it’snot problematic. It hasn’t been a problem for us. You know the paramedics aregoing to do what they are going to have to do, and we’ll have to play catch upand that’s fine. Because you know you’re not going to fiddle around with humanlife to save a scrap of paper or something like that. I did a presentation to300 medics of the San Francisco Paramedic Association after Oklahoma City. Iwas surprised at how little a problem it was. It really didn’t come up there.Everybody just knew they had a job to do, and we’d get the evidence one way orthe other somewhere after the fact. I think it’s just good common sense, and wedon’t have to be stepping over each other to get to the point.
A. by Mr.Jackson: That was a bad choice of words. That training doesencompass how to preserve the evidence to the best of your ability. When I sayproblematic, I mean that we may create problems for the investigation becauseof treating the patient. It is not problematic between the agencies.
Q. GuyNewgrin, San Jose Fire Department. Two questions, really. I was glad that youmentioned the ICS System during the presentation, because one of the objectivesof the seminar here is to address ways we can immediately respond to terroristactivities, and the ICS System is very important in that. Typically in a largedisaster like Oklahoma City, the EMS, the Emergency Medical Services Group,would be broken down to probably three groups. The triage, treatment andtransportation groups who would report to an EMS Branch Director or theOperations Officer, usually run by the Fire Department. They would in turnreport to the incident commander who would usually be the Fire Department orlaw enforcement if it was on a highway. In the case of a crime scene likeOklahoma City, it would be a unified command between police and fire. Youmentioned that one of your ambulance personnel set up the Incident CommandSystem. Can you describe to us how it evolved from that point?
A. by Mr. Jackson: The IncidentCommand System was specific to the medical component to it. Clearly, fire andlaw enforcement were there in timely conjunction. The EMS component of thosethree branches, plus the one that dealt probably equally with all of thetreatment and transport section, the morgue, were all set up within that EMSstructure, not the full IC System. When the full ICS was in place, the EMScomponent blended neatly into that. Does that answer your question?
Q. GuyNewgrin. Yes, but can you also explain how that system grew and developed?
A. by Mr. Jackson: I can not providethat for you; I was not there.
Comment by Moderator Rod Diridon: Wehave just a few minutes left, and while you are thinking of any other questions,let me ask one, if I may. We’re responsible in the Institute (and the reasonwhy this panel was chosen as such) for the area of surface transportation inthe United States. We’re looking to improve that based on international surfacetransportation policy. And we want to make sure we don’t leave the impressionfrom this discussion that mass transportation is in any way not safe or lesssafe than, let’s say, highways. I’d like to first note that research indicatesa little over 46,000 people were killed on our nation’s highways last year withseveral hundred thousand people injured. Can you give me a relative comment interms of the safety of the mass transportation systems that you are aware of,gentlemen? My guess is that farfewer than 1,000 were probably killed, and the injuries would be no more thanseveral thousand.
A. by ChiefFrazier: In terms of passenger rail throughout thecountry–which would, of course, exclude other modes of transit because I don’thave those figures–in the last three years, there have been a total of 16fatalities as compared with the 46,000 you mentioned.
A. by Mr.Savage: Unfortunately, I just don’t know the exact statistics.I do know that our problem is that when you have one or two of these isolatedincidents, it takes a while for the agency to bounce back. We all know thatmass transit, especially in New York, is much safer than private vehicle. Butthat’s the fact of life; there are probably hundreds of car crashes andfatalities every day on the streets of the metropolitan area. We’re in thelimelight somewhat when an unusual occurrence like the 14th Streetcrash, or the fire bombing, occurs. I know we’re definitely safer than normalmotor vehicle use.
Q. Good afternoon,gentlemen. My name is Willie Jackson, and I’m with AC Transit. In light of thecomments just made, would you say that most people traveling on mass transitare considered a captive audience and as such are not quite aware of how safethe actual systems are? Chief and other distinguished gentlemen, how do youmarket the safe travel ability of the various systems you are responsible for?
A. by Mr.Savage: I guess the key word “market” is right. In our case,it’s how fast we bounce back; how fast we evacuate our passengers in a crisistype of environment; how professionally we’re able to do it. I think we do itvery well in New York. Again, it’s because of that theory I mentioned thismorning–practice, practice, practice. We’re not called the media capital of theworld for no reason–New York is. There are three major television stations,plus Fox 5, there now. And we have many daily newspapers, and we’re frequentlyin the press. I can say that’s probably a strength of ours. When somethingunusual happens, we usually are able–99% of the time–to respond without muchcriticism from the press. That fact eventually goes to the riding public.Again, because we’re such a large area, we get one or two incidents that on thefirst blush sound horrific, and some of the damage that is done is horrific,but by and large, because we practice so much and we train so much, we’re ableto evacuate and get our customers to hospitals rather quickly if, in fact, itis a major incident.
A. by ChiefFrazier: Of course, when something happens to an Amtrak Trainin the United States, it is big news–for example, when a train derails, or whenthe New Jersey Transit had a collision, and within a week, the Marc and Amtrakcollided in Silver Spring. I think that the way you best deal with these issuesis important. First of all, the media truthfully reports that there have notbeen any incidents in X amount of time, or something like that. Then the agencyitself responds with the truth. Then the federal government responds with thetruth of what’s going on; they say that it is safe. There are these numerousagencies involved as railroad transportation is highly regulated, and safety isat the forefront of the operating rules. There are associations like the AARthat promote safety and the National Transportation Safety Board. When theycome out, their distinct objective is to identify what happened and to reportthat. That helps to insure that there is no recurrence wherever a recurrencecan be prevented. I think in terms of the “captive audience” in the market, yousimply make sure that you do everything in your power to communicate well; youtell the truth about what has happened, and you talk about the precautions thatare in place. I think that the federal agencies and the carriers themselves doa pretty responsible job of that.
Q. Good afternoon,gentlemen. My name is Ovid Holmes, and I’m with the Contra Costa CountySheriff’s Department. I’ve had a quite a bit of experience in training foremergency preparedness in tactical operations, and I did attend the sameseminar as Agent Webb in San Francisco which the EMS people did; I found thatquite interesting. Even more interesting is that we had done a multi-casualty,multi-agency, multi-discipline emergency response about a week before. I findthat this is not a common thing. It would be of interest to me for agencies toget together and work out, through the Incident Command System, multi-casualty,multi-agency, multi-discipline command exercises which would include involvingthe fire departments, police departments, and hospitals. I think Mr. Jacksonmentioned the various tiers of treatment; that’s been done in an exercise. Ithink it’s time for, or past due, to start with these kinds of trainingscenarios. It is out there, it does exist, and there are examples. I would hopethat you are thinking about it, or you’ve already done it, or you’re going todo it.
Q: Request for clarification: Areyou talking now about a national level response or a regional?
A. Well,most responses are regional because most incidents are regional. But again wetalked about a national standard. We’ve used the Incident Command System outhere with great success for some time, and look at each of the incidents thathave occurred with Amtrak or other transit agencies like the recent busincident in Florida. These are regional incidents, but they oftentimes involvenational entities. For example, Amtrak is working with the FBI and the firstresponders, which would be local sheriff or police and emergency responsepersonnel, the medical and fire field.
A. by Agent Webb: We do a lot oftraining with local law enforcement on various scenarios. The thing about thescenarios is that they take a lot of time and money to set up; I don’t thinkany of us would be opposed to it as long as we can look far enough in advanceto schedule it. Interestingly enough, we are mandated to do an annual airportexercise, and the FAA and FBI cooperate. We do that with them because federallaw demands it; we do it at San Jose and some of the other airports. It has notcome down from the bureaucracy, either the Federal Railway Administration orthe Department of Transportation, to do these same kinds of exercises onsurface transportation vehicles. In that sense, the airline industry, theairports, and the FAA are far ahead, and we find those very valuable. One yearwe canceled it because we had a real earthquake, and we didn’t have to worryabout it. The FAA demands it on the airport side, and perhaps as a nationalpolicy issue it may be something whose time is due.
A. by Mr. Jackson: I wouldlike to editorialize on that because it was one of the recommendations thatcame out. I think the expression that a rising tide raises all ships and boatssays that we need to not wait for a mandate to come down to us, but rather weneed to start at our local level encompassing the interaction of thoseagencies. And we need to articulate what those standards are to those peoplewho will listen to us.
A. by Mr.Savage: I think what happens as your area gets more involvedin these type of exercises is that you learn as you go along. It’s been ourexperience that events happen that constantly keep us training and on our toes.Pat Webb was talking about all of the effort that goes into one of theseevents–long hours and the rotten food. In New York last October, we had twoevents that kept us constantly going, one was the Pope’s visit and the other asthe 50th anniversary of the United Nations. It felt like we wereworking from July right through October constantly meeting with the FBI and allof the agencies–the usual suspects if you want to call it that. We weremeeting, and we were looking at every nook and cranny on the East side ofManhattan. I think what saved us was that the Pope traveled in the President’shelicopter when he celebrated some of his Masses. We had a hectic season. ThankGod nothing happened, but we did a lot of work that in a sense was practice. Weconstantly did a lot of investigation and a lot of follow-up work on differentleads–you know, the ordinary because of the un-ordinary. The more you do this,the more events that come into your metropolitan area, the more you realizethat this is, in a sense, a practice drill.
Moderator Rod Diridon: Let’s end thequestions there and give each one of our panelists who have come a long way achance for a brief wrap-up on their comments, which will then be the postscript to the session in the proceedings. We’ll begin with a thank you to eachone of them. First thanks to Vice President for Technical Operations, DenisJackson, American Medical Response. Denis, do you want to take the twomicrophones and give us about a minute wrap-up on your comments and on thesession today.
Comment by Denis Jackson: I think thelessons that we learned are to communicate, communicate, and communicate witheach other to help to instill structures that will be positive for the future.Continuous improvement is something that we need to hold close to our chests.We need to practice and improve on systems as we work with different agencies.Those agencies in turn work with each other toward establishing systems,setting standards and setting goals.
Moderator Rod Diridon: Thank you, Denis.And thank you, Chief Security Officer for the New York City Transit Authority,Tom Savage.
Comment by Tom Savage: I’ve said it a fewtimes, and I think it’s important to say it again–practice, practice, practice.That’s really the bottom line here. Do a lot of training with all of youremployees, a lot of communicating; let them know that we’re in a different era.And do a lot of inter-agency type of practice drills. The more you practice,the more you’ll be prepared. Thank you.
Moderator Rod Diridon: Thank you, Tom.Counter-terrorism Squad Supervisory Special Agent, Patrick Webb, Federal Bureauof Investigation. Thank you.
Comment by Patrick Webb: Thanks, Rod. As Ilook at the crowd out here I continue to be amazed by the fascination ofterrorism as a topic with the public and law enforcement. If we were talkingabout the theft of air bags from new cars I don’t think we’d have this many peoplehere. But be that as it may, to echo everyone else, cooperation, liaisoning andcreating that interface with all these agencies is what’s really important outhere. At the same time, we need to avoid frightening the public while beingprepared for whatever occurs.
Moderator Rod Diridon: Thank you, Pat.Chief of Police Ernest Frazier from the National Railroad PassengerAssociation, Amtrak.
Comment by Ernest Frazier: Well,I’ve been in night school for the last eight years, so the first thing I wouldlike to do is encourage your students, particularly, to become involved intransportation. My final comment is that what the Institute has done here todayis what we need to do in all of America’s communities. We need to face the verydifficult issues that are before us today, specially terrorism. So I thank youfor your effort, and I think those of you who have come here to be with us. Iappreciate your acknowledgment.
Closing comments by Moderator Rod Diridon: Thankyou very much, Chief. It’s interesting that your emphasis on education is thesame emphasis that the president of Amtrak gave us at our last Trustees’meeting. Tom Downs was very emphatic about our education programs. I think hesaid something about several hundred members of Amtrak retiring in next severalyears and not seeing a source of new managers moving into the industry. That’sone of the reasons why we have those master’s candidates out there learning theindustry.
Thank you all for being here. I know many of you havealready ordered copies of today’s transcripts. Should others like to do solater, you may either order through our World Wide Web page or by sending us aletter asking for copies. Thanks again for being here. I assume you’re alltaking transit on the way home, but if you are not, drive carefully.
PAGE 1 0F 5
The Officeof System Safety within the Metropolitan Transportation Authority–New York CityTransit conducts four Interagency Emergency Preparedness Drills per year aspart of a continuous effort to promote emergency responder familiarity with theunique transit environment as well as to foster interagency coordination duringreal emergencies on NYCT property. Outside agencies such as the New York CityFire Department (FDNY), New York City Police Department (NYPD) and EmergencyMedical Services (EMS) are the primary participants, with key support functionsprovided by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), NewYork City Department of Traffic (DOT), Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management(OEM), Salvation Army of Greater New York, and American Red Cross.
Representatives fromagencies such as New York State Public Transportation Safety Board (PTSB),National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), MTA Inspector General Office,Transport Workers Union (TWU), MTA-Long Island Railroad (LIRR), MTA-MetroNorthCommuter Railroad (MCNR), AMTRAK, New Jersey Transit (NJT), and the Port AuthorityTrans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) frequently serve as observers during thedrills.
Drill 95-3 was held on September 23, 1995at the 57th Street/ 6th Avenue Station (B/Q routes) inManhattan and simulated a “deliberate gas release”. Emergency response personnelwere required to make a determination on the presence of a “nerve agent”chemical based only on the medical symptoms (written on paper and placed on the“victim’s” person) exhibited by the victims and the results of air monitoringand material sampling. Drill coordinators supplied the appropriateinstrumentation readings to emergency personnel depending on the exact mannerin which the air monitoring and/or material sampling was conducted. Theinstrumentation readings that were provided to emergency personnel, coupledwith the victims’ medical symptoms were consistent with the properties of anerve agent. Additional references on the planning and progression of theexercise can be found on the following attachments:
Attachment 3: FDNYDispatcher Report
Attachment 4: NYPD–TransitBureau Dispatcher Report
Attachment 5: EMSDispatcher Report
Attachment 6: NYCT–RapidTransit Operations Train Incident Report
NYCT EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE 95-3
PAGE 2 OF 5
2.0 SUMMARY OF COMMENTSAND SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS
On October 30, 1995 a formal critique was held in twosessions. The morning session was attended by each agency’s designatedevaluator(s) who was present during the exercise. The afternoon sessionincluded the incident commanders who participated in the exercise. As a resultof the critique, the following comments/recommendations were derived byconsensus of the meeting attendees:
Comment 3-95-1: Onlyone or two stairway were used for station ingress and egress. This created someconfusion at the stairway locations and impeded access to the station.
Recommendation: To expeditethe simultaneous opposing flow of emergency response personnel entering thestation with passengers being evacuated from the station, multiple stairwaysshould immediately be designated by the first responding units as eitherstation entry or exit stairs.
Comment 3-95-2: Therewere instances whereby interagency communication between tactical functions andthe incident commander was lacking. This lack of communication manifesteditself through the following observations:
Š EMS units wereobstructed from the scene by parked FDNY and NYPD vehicles and subsequently hadto park two blocks from the scene.
Š dual decontaminationareas established by FDNY and NYPD that may have resulted in confusion due totheir location.
Š staging areas for eachagency were not reported to incident commander.
Š completion of tasksassigned by incident commander were not relayed back upon completion of thetask.
Recommendation: Alldecisions relating to the establishment of staging and decontamination areasand hot/control/cold zones should be made by the overall incident commander toprevent confusion over multiple decontamination areas as well as to avertunnecessary street blockages that could delay incoming emergency responseunits. In addition, completed tasks must be reported back to the incidentcommander.
Comment 3-95-3: FDNYRescue 1 and NYPD Emergency Services Unit personnel did not follow proper airmonitoring protocol. A more general air monitoring approach with multipleinstrumentation should have been used for an “unknown” chemical.
Recommendation: These unitsshould be re-trained in proper air monitoring protocol for incidents of thistype.
Comment 3-95-4: Patientand equipment terminology between agencies was inconsistent. For example, theterms “victim”/”patient” and “stretcher”/”stokes basket” each conveys differentconnotations for FDNY and EMS. This could have delayed medical treatment and/ordeployment of equipment as a result of misinterpretation.
NYCT EMERGENCYPREPAREDNESS EXERCISE 95-3
PAGE 3 OF 5
Recommendation: Interagencycommunication should avoid the use of “jargon” whenever possible.
Comment 3-95-5: Itwas difficult to keep track of emergency personnel on the platform due todifferent colored protective clothing (FDNY Rescue 1-yellow; FDNY HazMat-grey;NYPD ESU-yellow; EMS-blue).
Recommendation: Protectivesuits should be standardized and labeled with an appropriate agencyidentification.
Comment 3-95-6: Therewas a delay in getting emergency vehicles moved when needed.
Recommendation: Whenrequesting that an emergency vehicle be moved, the vehicle number and theagency that the vehicle belongs to should be conveyed with the request to thecommand post.
Comment 3-95-7: Therewas no containment of the decontamination areas in the station mezzanine leveland street level.
Recommendation: Ensure thatproper containment is established and coordinated through the incidentcommander.
Comment 3-95-8 “Victims”were not held after decontamination for law enforcement investigation issues.
Recommendation: Upondecontamination of victims, they should be held for law enforcement agenciesfor investigation purposes, witness statements, etc.
Comment 3-95-9 NYPDdid not actively search for “witnesses” (train crew, passengers, etc.) duringthe incident.
Recommendation: Re-emphasizethe need for proper investigative procedures for incidents of this nature.
Comment 3-95-10: “DOA” (deceased)victims were not decontaminated.
Recommendation: Protocolfor decontaminating “DOA’s” should be followed.
Comment 3-95-11: Baseline vitals for chemical emergencyresponders were not available to EMS.
Recommendation: Baseline vitals should be takenat the beginning of each tour and carried on the vehicle to ensure that theyare available for EMS personnel.
Comment 3-95-12: Safety Officersfor each agency could not be readily identified.
Recommendation: An arm bandor other visible marking should be worn by each agency’s Safety Officer at thescene.
NYCT EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE 95-3
PAGE 4 OF 5
Comment 3-95-13 No NYCTliaison was present at the Interagency Command Post.
Recommendation: Ensure thatthe authorized NYCT liaison reports to the Interagency Command Post uponarrival at the scene.
Comment 3-95-14 NYCTDivision of Stations personnel did not make an announcement in a timely mannerto evacuate the station and did not unlock all emergency gates and entrances.
Recommendation: ReinstructStations personnel in the correct procedures for evacuating stations.
Comment 3-95-15: The NYPD TransitPolice Bureau Supervisor who was placed in charge at the scene by NYPD PrecinctSupervisor was not adequately prepared.
Recommendation: Reinstructall NYPD Transit Bureau Supervisors in the proper procedures relating toincidents of this type.
Althoughnot related to the performance of the emergency responders at the scene, thefollowing comments were elicited by the meeting attendees in the interest ofimproving the conduct of future drills:
Š All video tapes shouldincorporate time/date coding on the film to allow better
tracking of the events shown on the video tofacilitate editing.
Š A sufficient number ofevaluators should be provided by each agency who are
knowledgeable in the area that they are assigned toevaulate.
Š All major agenciesparticipating in the drill need to be present at all pre-drill
meetings as well as the formal critique.
Š Business owners in thearea where the drill will take place need to be notified in
advance that a drill will take place.
PAGE 5 OF 5
Thegeneral consensus of the evaluators and participating personnel from eachagency indicated that the drill went well and was a valuable learningexperience for dealing with a real incident of this type should it ever occuron NYCT property. As with previous NYCT Emergency Preparedness Drills, themajority of the comments were focused primarily on the need for greaterinteragency teamwork. This drill was unique in that it underscored thepotential for a large number of casualties resulting from an incident of thistype. A greater effort must be placed in the development of interagencycoordination in the interest of controlling an incident with minimal injuriesto the public and emergency response personnel.
TheNYCT is continuously seeking new ideas and new ways to conduct Emergency PreparednessDrills such as these and appreciates your continued support. Thank you for youparticipation in this drill and we look forward to seeing you at the next one.
TheMTA New York City Transit (NYCT) is conducting an Interagency EmergencyPreparedness Exercise on Saturday, September 23, 1995. As a result of the SarinGas attacks occurring in Japan earlier this year the NYCT will be conducting anexercise involving a deliberate chemical release on a train operating withinthe subway system. The goal of the exercise is to enable the NYCT and emergencyresponse agencies to evaluate existing plans for handling an incident of thistype under a controlled environment. The key to success in this type of anincident is the quick identification of the cause of the incident, i.e. that isa hazardous gas release. This information can then be passed on to theemergency response agencies and responding NYCT employees to prevent them fromentering a hazardous environment without the proper protective gear. Inaddition, this exercise will provide an opportunity for emergency responseagencies to work with each other and the NYCT to develop their communication& coordination skills. From the experience and knowledge gained throughconducting this exercise, operating policies and procedures will be modified tobetter ensure the safety of our customers, employees and emergency responders.
Exercise95-3 will start approximately 9:45 am and will take place in Manhattan at the57th Street station on the 6th Avenue Line (B &Q).The scenario will involve a deliberate chemical release on a Queens bound Qtrain entering the 57th Street station. Somewhere between theRockefeller Center Station and 57th Street Station a packagecontaining the hazardous substance will begin to leak exposing the occupants ofthe car to the chemical. When the train pulls into the subway station and opensits doors, the passengers in the car containing the hazardous chemical willstumble out of the car onto the platform complaining of difficulty breathing,burning eyes and vomiting. One of the victims will collapse in the doorway ofthe train preventing the train from leaving the station. Seeing this theconductor will go to investigate and will begin to experience similar symptoms.The train operator upon noticing this will radio the RTO Command Center withwhat he has observed. In the mean time a passenger on the platform, upon seeingthe passengers having difficulties, will run to the Token Booth and inform theclerk of the passengers symptoms. The clerk will notify the Stations CommandCenter via the Emergency Booth Communications System.
Whenthe RTO Command Center receives this information it will immediately contactthe Fire Department and the New York City Police Transit Bureau requestingassistance. It will then notify all of the operating departments, via the sixwire, of the incident and will inform all employees to not enter the stationuntil they have first contacted their Office, to prevent people withoutprotective clothing from entering the hazardous environment.
EmergencyResponse personnel from the Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY), New YorkCity Emergency Medical Services (EMS), New York City Police Department (NYPD),New York City Police Transit Bureau, Office of Emergency Management (OEM),Mayors Office of Operations, Salvation Army of Greater New York, American RedCross, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Department ofEnvironmental Protection (DEP) and various departments from within the NYCTwill take part in this exercise.
Inthe event an actual emergency should arise during the exercise, the term “CODERED” will be used to preface allemergency radio transmissions. Upon hearing “CODE RED” the exercise will temporarily halt until the actualemergency can be handled. If the nature of the emergency is serious enough theexercise will be stopped.
Allobservers upon arriving at the exercise site should sign-in with arepresentative from the NYCT, Office of System Safety. They will be providedwith and should display an observer tag. The Observers will have an opportunityto view the exercise from the street level or on the platform. Please do notleave the designated areas for Observers without first advising therepresentative from the Office of System Safety. Under no circumstances shouldan observer take part in any way in the operation of the exercise unlessrequested to do so by one of the exercise coordinators. This is for the safety of all observers as well asexercise participants.
Aformal critique will be held in the weeks following the exercise.
Anyonewho would like to send comments regarding the exercise, please send or fax themto the address listed below, attention of Salvatore Gilardi Jr.
Officeof System Safety, Fire Safety
370Jay Street, Room 607
The New York City Transit would like to give specialthanks to the following organizations for their participation in this exercise:
FireDepartment, City of New York
NewYork City Emergency Medical Services
NewYork City Police Department
NewYork City Police, Transit Bureau
NewYork City Police Department Recruits
NewYork City Department of Transportation
NewYork City Department o Environmental Protection
NewYork City Office of Emergency Management
MayorsOffice of Operations
NYCTDepartment of Subways
TheSalvation Army of Greater New York
NYCTOffice of System Safety
We would like to give special thanks to Chief ThomasHaring & Phil McArdle from the Fire Department, City of New York, for theirhelp and cooperation in setting up the exercise.
The passenger will exit the train (upon first seeingthe conductor walk down the platform toward him) coughing and holding his neckas if he/she was choking and proceed to the token booth on the mezzanine.He/she will run past the conductor without saying anything.
The victim should then proceed to communicate to thetoken booth clerk that he/she was on the train and saw a liquid on the floor ofthe last car and two people passed out on the platform, possibly from the fumesof the liquid.
The token booth clerk should then contact the StationControl Center and advise them:
“THISIS A DRILL, a passenger, gasping for air and choking, advised me
that two people requiremedical assistance, possibly from some type of liquid in the last car of thenorthbound train in the station, I repeat, two passengers need medicalassistance, from some type of liquid in the last car of the Southbound train.THIS IS A DRILL.”
Station Control Center shouldproceed with their normal notifications preceeding all transmissions with “THISIS A DRILL. NYCT INTERAGENCY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DRILL 95-3.”
AAR Association of American Railroads
ABS AutomaticBlock System
ACTransit Alameda/Contra Costa County Transit District
ATF Bureauof Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
AMR AmericanMedical Response
Amtrak America’sNational Railroad Passenger Corporation
APD AmtrakPolice Department
Caltrans CaliforniaDepartment of Transportation
CCTV ClosedCircuit Television
CHP CaliforniaHighway Patrol
CISD CriticalIncident Stress Debriefing
CTC CentralizedTraffic Control
CTEC CentralizedTraffic and Electrification Control
DOB Departmentof Buses
DOJ Departmentof Justice
DOT U.S.Department of Transportation
DTC DirectTraffic Control
EMS EmergencyMedical Service
EMRA EmergencyMedical Response Authority
FBI FederalBureau of Investigation
FEMA FederalEmergency Management Agency
FRA FederalRailroad Administration
FTA FederalTransit Administration
GMC GeneralMotors Corporation
GPS GlobalPositioning System
ICS IncidentCommand System
IISTPS NormanY. Mineta International Institute For Surface Transportation Policy Studies
ISTEA IntermodalSurface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
MARC MarylandRail Commuter System
NCAA NationalCollegiate Athletic Association
NCIC NationalCrime Information Center
NYCTA NewYork City Transit Authority
NYPD NewYork Police Department
OIS Officeof Intelligence and Security
PDD-39 PresidentialDecision Directive 39
SEMS StandardizedEmergency Management System
SFO SanFrancisco Airport
SJSU SanJose State University