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Released: 6/16/2008 

PATCO Holds Emergency Drill

PATCO is staging an emergency drill on Sunday, June 22, 2008, at its City Hall subway station in Camden. The drill will simulate a train emergency in the subway requiring the coordinated response of PATCO and emergency units from Camden along with the evacuation of passengers from the train.

The drill will force PATCO to suspend operations between approximately 830am and 11am. Full service will resume in time for those who plan to ride PATCO to the Phillies game that afternoon.

Approximately 80 volunteers will pose as passengers. Also involved in the drill are employees from both PATCO and the Delaware River Port Authority, the Camden City Fire Department and the UMDNJ Emergency Medical Service unit. The drill will provide PATCO and locals emergency response agencies a chance to practice responding to a simulated real life emergency in the subway tunnel with smoke as a factor. Much of the staged scenario will be unknown to the participants and they will be required to react as events unfold.

PATCO President, John J. Matheussen, says “while PATCO and emergency responders do an excellent job when responding to real emergencies, it’s always good to practice and that’s what this drill is all about.”

PATCO General Manager, Bob Box, says “this drill will allow our personnel and emergency responders to put into place the lessons that were learned during familiarization tours and table top exercises.”

The drill is being coordinated by PATCO Safety Specialist, David Rosser. Rosser says “smoke and heat are the major problems in a subway fire because of the confined setting. This presents a special challenge to emergency responders in their task to evacuate passengers because of the heat and reduced visibility.”

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