Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fail Compounded

From a Metro employee:
Staging [the reaction to the Clarendon incident] wouldn't be a problem if Metro made a decision and then stuck with it.

Instead, someone makes the initial decision, then someone a step higher up changes it, and then the next higher up changes it yet again.

So, in reality, a train operator can be told three different things to do within a 5 or 10-minute period.

Another issue is the chain of command on the scene.

When fire department arrives, they immediately take over the scene in terms of either body recovery or removing the injured person. From what I have been told by those on the scene, the jumper was trying to crawl out from under the train.

The fire department told him to stay put and let them remove him.

Also, the fire department had third rail power removed from the opposite side of the platform.

This was totally unnecessary.

They could have run trains thru the station without stopping--at 5 m.p.h.--with a flagman there at the interlocking in case of personnel there.

Yet the fire department took all power down.

Someone told me that a fireman started crawling up under the train without any verification of the removal of third rail power.

The fire department comes out to local [Metro] shops for a half-day class on what the components on the train do. They learn to remove third rail power and other basic things. Problem is when they arrive on the scene they really do not have a true understanding of the track configurations or the power distribution at the scene. So they just kill ALL the power.

Metro has never stepped in to say there is a better way.

Also, Kubicek [Metro's #2] did not show up at the scene.

There was some junior flunky safety officer who had never worked a jumper scene before, so we was useless. All he kept doing was question and confront people about having an improper safety vest or an older model "hot stick" (a tool used to test whether there is electrical current).

In other words, he was in way over his head and instead of stepping back and trying to learn standard operating procedures, he kept trying to micromanage the scene.

I first heard about the incident from a supervisor. I hadn't heard about it on the Metro radio. Neither had he. He said he heard about it on a local radio station because they usually tell us before Metro does.
From Adam:
During the meltdown Tuesday, the station manager at Court House was ripping people off.

I got to Court House about 20 minutes after the incident. I didn't know that there was going to be at least a 2-hour delay until I was down on the platform and saw it on the message board.

Neither did damn near everybody else.

Rather than wait two hours, I went back up to find alternative transportation.

So did most everyone else.

But here's the question: Why weren't people informed about the delay until AFTER they had paid their fare? '

The station manager on duty said nothing about any delays, and since Court House is an Orange Line only station, surely she should have known.

I sat there and watched her for about ten minutes as people paid their fare and went down to the platform, only to come back up again five minutes later.

She said nothing to any of them.

That's kind of horsesh-t behavior on the part of the station manager.
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