Drill at Metro station prepares emergency responders for the real thing

Drill at Metro station prepares emergency responders for the real thing. (ABC7 photo)

A mock train derailment shut down two Metro stations on Sunday, as emergency responders prepared for the real thing.

More than 100 firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders gathered for the drill at the Eisenhower Avenue and Huntington stations.

"It brings first responders together. It re-confirms to our riders and employees that we can handle real world emergencies. And you can never train enough," says Ron Pavlik, chief of Metro Transit Police.

The City of Alexandria worked with Metro Transit Police to conduct the full-scale emergency response. They worked together to rescue passengers from the derailed Metro and to help the injured. In light of the deadly smoke incident at L'Enfant Plaza in January of 2015, Metro is required to do an emergency response drill every quarter.

"For me, the best thing is to learn not so much that we did everything well, we don't need to do this again. It's what can we do better? What did we see? How can we improve," says Paul Wiedefeld, Metro's General Manager.

Riders said they believed the drills were necessary.

"Emergency prep is something that can never be underestimated, never be undervalued," says Metro rider, Jillian Hannah.

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