Emergency responders partner with MSOL

By NIKKI SMITH,

The Petal Police and Fire Departments took part in a railroad safety blitz event with Mississippi Operation Lifesaver (MSOL). The event took place Wednesday, Oct. 18 and was designed to bring awareness to the dangers associated with highway-rail grade crossings.

The railroad safety blitz is part of a partnership between MSOL and Petal Emergency Responders.

According to MSOL, crossing blitzes are held throughout the year in various locations statewide to increase awareness and reduce the numbers of fatalities at locations where roadways intersect with train tracks and at railroad rights of way.

Kim Sloan, executive director of Mississippi Operation Lifesaver, said it is extremely important for the public to be informed about the dangers associated with highway-rail grade crossings and trespassing on railroad property.

“We must do our best to inform motorists, as well as pedestrians of the dangers that they can encounter at railroad crossings,” Sloan said in an MSOL news release. “We are working to raise public awareness about these incidents, and hope that with our ‘See Tracks? Think Train!’ message, we can reduce the number of fatalities and injuries not only in Petal, but statewide.” 

According to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Safety Data, there have been nine fatalities in Mississippi as of July 31 of this year.

Mississippi Operation Lifesaver, Inc. is a non-profit organization that is working diligently to stop the needless deaths and injuries on or near highway rail grade crossings through education, enforcement and engineering. Operation Lifesaver presentations are available free of charge to local schools and organizations.

Contact MSOL at 601-594-4713 or oli.org for more information.