Railway worker suspended after rescuing disabled woman

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Antman

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Out of interest, what is the track layout like at this station? I think it makes a difference if there is a refuge you could stand away from any (frequently used) track - eg where previous track has been removed, like at Andover. I don't suppose this was the case here?


From memory, it's been a while since I was last there, you can see clearly in both directions and would see any approaching train, no there is no sort of refuge between the two tracks.

We can argue this forever and a day but the bottom line is that four reasonably fit blokes would have been able to jump onto the track and lift the lady and her wheelchair and themselves back onto the platform long before any train was approaching, indeed it appears that is excatly what happened................so what exactly is the problem?????
 
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Cherry_Picker

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We can argue this forever and a day but the bottom line is that four reasonably fit blokes would have been able to jump onto the track and lift the lady and her wheelchair and themselves back onto the platform long before any train was approaching, indeed it appears that is excatly what happened................so what exactly is the problem?????

In a vacuum there is no problem, but the companies involved cannot be seen to be giving the message that going onto the track without following proper procedures is okay or somebody else might do it and next time we could be talking about a fatality.
 

Waldgrun

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There are so many things unknown in this tale, and it is unlikely that the truth will be revealed.
The first thing that comes to mind, is why did the wheelchair end up on the track? In my day we where taught to park any wheeled item parallel to the platform edge, and with disabled assistance jobs, only to move towards the train when it was stationary. Could the reduction of staffing on platforms be part of the cause!
I feel that the fellow who went down on the track was in a real Catch 22. If he had rung the box and the members of the public had completed the recovery, the head lines would have read "Rail Staff don't help when wheelchair user falls!" Also, did he instruct someone else to contact the box, was he on his own or not?
When my P.T.S was allowed to lapse (due to cost cutting), a member of management told me that in an emergency, I could go down on the track, but when asked to define what was an emergency, wouldn't give an answer! When he then confirmed that I could go down onto the track in what I believed to be an emergency situation and if they deemed it not to be one, from the comfort and safety of their cosy offices, after the event, I would be in deep trouble. You can see I lost a lot of respect for modern railway management!
 

bb21

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We can argue this forever and a day but the bottom line is that four reasonably fit blokes would have been able to jump onto the track and lift the lady and her wheelchair and themselves back onto the platform long before any train was approaching, indeed it appears that is excatly what happened................so what exactly is the problem?????

As it turned out, everything was fine, luckily.

But, how long do you think it would take to get a wheelchair with a person in it off a railway track to a safe location? It is likely to be longer than you might think, and you would have no idea how far away the next train is.

Those men did a brave thing, whatever the circumstances. There is no doubt about that, but I find the assumptions in your arguments frankly ridiculous.
 

Antman

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As it turned out, everything was fine, luckily.

But, how long do you think it would take to get a wheelchair with a person in it off a railway track to a safe location? It is likely to be longer than you might think, and you would have no idea how far away the next train is.

Those men did a brave thing, whatever the circumstances. There is no doubt about that, but I find the assumptions in your arguments frankly ridiculous.


Ridiculous? How so? Life is full of ifs but and maybes
 

bb21

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Ridiculous? How so? Life is full of ifs but and maybes

I quote you:

the bottom line is that four reasonably fit blokes would have been able to jump onto the track and lift the lady and her wheelchair and themselves back onto the platform long before any train was approaching

You can't possibly know how far away the next train is, so your assumption of "long before" is highly dangerous.

As I have already said, it is likely to take longer than you might think to move a wheelchair and its occupant from the tracks to somewhere safe, even with four fully fit blokes.
 

northern156

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Slightly OT, but do (manned) railway stations normally have track circuit clips on hand for use in emergency?
 

martybabes

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...it is likely to take longer than you might think to move a wheelchair and its occupant from the tracks to somewhere safe, even with four fully fit blokes.

Just putting her back on the platform would be safe enough, surely. Can't imagine doing that would be dangerous or take very long. Bish bosh.
Pretty much everyone would know you wouldn't want to hang around on the track for longer than necessary.
 

NSEFAN

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martybabes said:
Just putting her back on the platform would be safe enough, surely. Can't imagine doing that would be dangerous or take very long. Bish bosh.
Pretty much everyone would know you wouldn't want to hang around on the track for longer than necessary.

Surely that depends on if/how she is injured. In some cases it is better to leave an injured person as moving them would do more harm.
 

EM2

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Surely that depends on if/how she is injured. In some cases it is better to leave an injured person as moving them would do more harm.
From the earlier post from bignosemac, the lady suffered a fractured hip in the fall. Lifting someone with a fracture, unless you have proper training, can cause even more damage.
 

GB

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Risk vs Reward isn't it? Sure you risk the chance of doing damage to the person by moving them...but then what is the risk and potential outcome of being hit by a train?
 

GB

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There is a real risk of being hit by a train up untill trains have been stopped.
 

A-driver

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Slightly OT, but do (manned) railway stations normally have track circuit clips on hand for use in emergency?

Clips still require you to get on the line first and are only of any use if the approaching train is still behind the signal or if the train can be stopped in time after seeing the red signal.
 

northern156

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Clips still require you to get on the line first and are only of any use if the approaching train is still behind the signal or if the train can be stopped in time after seeing the red signal.
I know that but do stations actually have them? Sorry for any confusion
 

GB

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Which is why you get them stopped as soon as possible, before doing anything else.

Indeed, but what do you do in those hypothetical situations where you haven't got enough time to contact the signaller and get trains stopped but have enough to pull someone clear? Attempt rescue or leave them to it?
 

jon0844

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Was the next train due to stop? Was the platform in question protected by a red signal at the end of the platform?

The former would be risky, but the latter would - even if it still meant breaking all the rules - tell someone that at the very worst a train approaching would already be warned of the red and be slowing whether due to stop or not.
 

Antman

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I quote you:



You can't possibly know how far away the next train is, so your assumption of "long before" is highly dangerous.

As I have already said, it is likely to take longer than you might think to move a wheelchair and its occupant from the tracks to somewhere safe, even with four fully fit blokes.

I would think any rescue could be done in about 30 seconds and there is a clear view down the line.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Was the next train due to stop? Was the platform in question protected by a red signal at the end of the platform?

The former would be risky, but the latter would - even if it still meant breaking all the rules - tell someone that at the very worst a train approaching would already be warned of the red and be slowing whether due to stop or not.


AFAIK all trains are.scheduled to stop although there could be empty stock movements.
 

KA4C

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Which is why you get them stopped as soon as possible, before doing anything else.

Exactly, and this is what staff are trained to do
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
if this incident happened as has been reported then quite honestly it's another 'own goal' for the rail industry.

No, the report says that C2C are investigating the incident and that the person involved is suspended whilst that takes place, this is quite normal procedure and no-one should be surprised by it
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
How would you know that you'd have sufficient time to 'escape', after the time at which you first sighted an approaching train, bearing in mind that you'd probably not see the train for a few seconds after it comes within your sighting distance?

Oh I don't know, he is having a few good tries at getting out of that deep hole that he keeps digging for himself:D
 

bb21

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I would think any rescue could be done in about 30 seconds

Without knowing much about the woman's conditions, etc, I wouldn't be so sure. 30 seconds is not a long time if you are in a situation helping someone to move.
 

KA4C

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Without knowing much about the woman's conditions, etc, I wouldn't be so sure. 30 seconds is not a long time if you are in a situation helping someone to move.

Was it an electric wheelchair, anyone on here tried to move one of those? not easy
 

EM2

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Indeed, but what do you do in those hypothetical situations where you haven't got enough time to contact the signaller and get trains stopped but have enough to pull someone clear? Attempt rescue or leave them to it?
There is an accepted signal used to warn a driver of an oncoming train. The important question is, how do you know you have enough time?
 

Antman

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Exactly, and this is what staff are trained to do
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


No, the report says that C2C are investigating the incident and that the person involved is suspended whilst that takes place, this is quite normal procedure and no-one should be surprised by it
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Oh I don't know, he is having a few good tries at getting out of that deep hole that he keeps digging for himself:D


We're just going round in circles, there is a clear view down the line
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Was it an electric wheelchair, anyone on here tried to move one of those? not easy


Then leave the electric wheelchair and rescue the person, simple
 

Llanigraham

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I would think any rescue could be done in about 30 seconds and there is a clear view down the line.

Have you ever done a First Aid course?
Have you ever tried to lift an old lady with a broken hip?

Sorry, but anything like this is going to take well over 30secs, even in an emergency!
 

KA4C

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Then leave the electric wheelchair and rescue the person, simple

and if it is on the person?

I'll get you a longer ladder
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Have you ever done a First Aid course?
Have you ever tried to lift an old lady with a broken hip?

Sorry, but anything like this is going to take well over 30secs, even in an emergency!


Absolutely it is
 

jon0844

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Then leave the electric wheelchair and rescue the person, simple

It said the person was strapped in the chair. Just undoing that could take a while, depending on the position of the chair.

In fact, had that not been the case there's every chance the person would have fallen out anyway.
 
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