SALT LAKE CITY — With the new opening of the UTA TRAX line, medical teams and law enforcement held emergency response training on Friday to prepare for possible accidents with the increase of traffic in downtown Salt Lake City traffic.
The new UTA TRAX line will run on North Temple to Salt Lake City International Aiport, and will open in April. In preparation, dozens of officers and firefighters held a training drill on 400 West to respond to a fake scenario of someone getting pushed onto the rails, and being pinned under the train.
Salt Lake City Police officers said that this scenario is one that they have already faced a half dozen times this year, and is a very plausible situation with the added traffic and TRAX line. Responders wanted to make sure that they were prepared with the knowledge and equipment for a similar, future emergency.
"It's a very large and heavy piece of equipment, and takes a lot of specialized training and equipment to get people out from under a train like this," said Salt Lake City Fire Department Capt. Kyle Lavender.
Only a few weeks prior, a similar accident occurred where a man was pinned under the train. In that scenario, the train had to be lifted to get the injured man freed like in the staged drill.
The police and fire departments remind people of the dangers of moving trains during traffic hour.
"We just want people to take a look at their surroundings and notice that they are changing and that there are some hazards that you need to be aware of," Lavender said.
After the completion of the training, emergency responders met to discuss what could be improved in their response to a real crisis.