How Norfolk Southern makes train incident response safer and smarter

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Goals and opportunity

When emergencies occur, both rail companies and first responders lack the critical information they need to ensure the fastest possible emergency response To transform how they respond to train emergencies, Norfolk Southern sought a partner that could connect 911 centers and field responders with the data and information needed to respond effectively and safely.

Partnering with RapidSOS

Norfolk Southern partnered with RapidSOS to establish direct, bi-directional communication (voice, text, video) between their network operations center (NOC) and first responders. With a direct connection to local first responders, Norfolk Southern makes it quicker and easier for first responders to access information related to cargo and hazardous materials.

How it works

RapidSOS

When Norfolk Southern’s NOC is notified of an emergency, an incident is created within RapidSOS that includes train ID, hazmat info, emergency response guides, and full train consist.

An alert is sent to the most local ECC and nearby ECCs for mutual aid awareness.

Simultaneously, a Pre-Alert is sent to listed field responders (via IamResponding or SMS/email).

Simultaneously, a Pre-Alert is sent to listed field responders (via IamResponding or SMS/email).

Field responders will receive a link via SMS or email with the full train Consist data, hazmat information, and emergency response guide to help them with their response plan.

Field responders will receive a link via SMS or email with the full train Consist data, hazmat information, and emergency response guide to help them with their response plan.

Impact

Prior to this partnership, 911 had to manually search online databases and verbally relay critical information to field responders during rail incidents.RapidSOS and Norfolk Southern’s solution, which is free to public safety agencies across the U.S enables bi-directional,digital communication between rail companies and first responders to ensure the fastest and safest possible response.

Data sources shared with 911:

Derailment location

Hazmat information

Train consist

Car numbers

Mutual aid notification

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Through our partnership with RapidSOS, 911 call centers and first responder agencies throughout our 22-state network will have faster access to the information they need to safeguard their response, save lives, and protect the communities in which we operate.

John Fleps,

VP of Safety, Norfolk Southern

See how RapidSOS can establish the best possible connection between your trains and first responders