Solution #264

Disasters Await

Featuring: Emergency Response Guidelines: Planning! Precision! Performance!
 Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

The Idea:

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) needed to convert a Power Point Presentation to the video medium. This needed to better explain the emergency response guidelines to first responders in all eight jurisdictions covered by VRE. The idea was to create a training video that would familiarize first responders with railway-related guidelines and operations that could be encountered during a disaster or emergency situation.

The Challenge:

The challenge was to highlight how first responders should deal with the trains themselves and how to best help the commuters when their lives are at stake. The other objective was to illustrate the various safety concerns - Emergency Exit Operations, on board places of concealment, and specific precautions with the train equipment.  The presentation needed to be engaging and hold the audience's attention for this important information.

VRE Railcar with Emergency Response Workers performing rescue mission


The Solution:

In order to showcase the VRE system, it meant filming VRE trains, first responders, commuters, and VRE personnel, while avoiding other trains and traffic on the shared tracks. With the help of Williams Whittle, Video Solutions successfully planned four days of production with all necessary parties present. We consulted with three fire departments, all of whom attended and willingly participated in the production. The first part of the production was shot in a controlled space at a VRE rail yard that needed to look like the action was happening on the line. Here we carefully staged rescue activities and taped an actual terrorist training drill. To add some drama and a sense of realism, Video Solutions called in a pyrotechnic expert to create smoke and sparks. The second part of the project was filmed during rush hour to capture the images of commuters and the two different styles of VRE trains against the colorful backdrop of turning leaves.VRE train arrives at the station with a background of autumn colored trees

The variety of these images allows the video to show the key points and differences of the VRE Commuter System, as well as how to plan, approach and successfully manage a VRE-related emergency situation. The DVD includes graphic titling to underline key messages and outlines the emergency preparedness guidelines provided by VRE to first responders. The final training DVD was distributed to all jurisdictions providing consistent information to all shifts-something that had been virtually impossible through traditional training methods.