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posted: 12/10/2011 5:00 AM

Thanks for help with rail training

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On behalf of Milton Township and Milton Township CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team), we would like to thank all of the first responders that participated in this year's Metra rail training exercise at the Union Pacific rail facility in West Chicago earlier this month.

Over 14 firefighters, fire chiefs, and emergency management agents volunteered their time on a Saturday to train over 100 Milton Township CERT members in rail safety and rail disasters. These selfless volunteers trained us aboard a live train to size up, transport, triage, treat, collar/board and incident command procedures in the event of a real rail emergency. The busiest passenger and freight rail lines in the country run right through Milton Township.

The instructors included: West Chicago Fire Protection Fire Chief Bob Hodge; Winfield Fire Protection District Lt. Pete Daily; Wheaton Fire Department Deputy Bill Schultz, and Warrenville Fire District paramedic chief Martin Nelson. PACE donated four buses and Ken Grist, their safety director, arranged the transport of over 100 volunteers to the various sites.

Metra's Tom Donegan, chief safety officer, lectured us for two hours and then Union Pacific Railroad's Tom Cote provided a live operational passenger train to make this a realistic training experience. West Chicago Police Department Sgt. Chris Woodill provided CERT coordination and security for the event.

Milton Township CERT will continue to train the next 600 citizens, as major volunteer resources are needed for first responders in any emergency. We thank the DuPage County Sheriff's Department and DuPage facilities management, and the Boy Scouts of America that have additionally given their time and resources to help train township volunteers.

Ralph Hinkle

Executive Director, Milton Township

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