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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drills Performed Today by NYPD - Will There Be Joint Command Drills With FDNY and Other Emergency Responders As Well?

FDNY Tram Rescue Drill Image From You Tube Video

Last week the New York City Fire Department conducted Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drills as shown in the video below from R1FOG.
Members of the FDNY Special Operations Command drill at the Roosevelt Island Tram. The tram connects Manhattan and the island across the East River. The highest point is 250-feet above the river. The last descent from the tram car to the fireboat stationed below featured the DEUS 7300 back-up belay. The firefighter inverts several times including a head-first touchdown on the fireboat!

You Tube Video of FDNY Roosevelt Island Tram Rescue Drill

Today, the New York City Police Department returns


to Roosevelt Island for Tram Rescue Drills. According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
As a reminder the NYPD will be practicing on one Tram cabin, today Wednesday, July 20th, from the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Please note regular Tram service will not be interrupted during this time frame.

After last week's FDNY Tram rescue drills I asked RIOC President Leslie Torres and Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez:
Why do the NYPD and FDNY conduct Tram rescue drills separately?

My understanding is that in the event of an emergency regarding the Tram, a joint command operation is initiated by NYPD,FDNY, EMS and RIOC.

I have seen NYPD and now FDNY conduct Tram rescue drills separately but have not seen them practice together.

Will there be joint tram rescue drills by all Emergency responders for the Tram?

It is my understanding that interservice rivalry among the Emergency Responders was a problem when passengers were stuck in the old Tram over the East River throughout the night before they were finally rescued several years ago.
Mr. Martinez replied:
RIOC has an MOU with NYPD, FDNY, and OEM.  The MOU establishes a "Joint Command" for Tram exercises, including emergency evacuation procedures.  The exercises are typically held in the Spring and Fall.  In the event of an actual emergency, the Joint Command will be implemented.  The NYPD and FDNY have individually requested additional practices in order to become more familiar with the Tram and utilize new equipment.
A MOU is a Memorandum of Understanding.

During recent conversations with NYPD and FDNY officials, they deny that any inter-service rivalry between them contributed to delays in rescuing those Tram passengers stuck above the East River overnight in April 2006. These officials describe such reports as incorrect and exaggerated by the Press.

Here's more from previous post on the issue of NYPD - FDNY inter-service rivalry in regard to the April 2006 Roosevelt Island Tram incident.

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