November 26, 2014

 The Toronto Transit Commission was joined today by representatives from the City’s fire, police and paramedic services at an event at Davisville Station to launch an information campaign aimed at changing how and when customers use emergency alarms in the subway.
 
When an emergency alarm – formerly referred to as a passenger assistance alarm - is activated, the train proceeds to the next station and waits there while police, paramedics and fire services are dispatched to the scene, tying up valuable emergency resources and causing delays for customers of between two and 20 minutes per incident, backing up trains throughout the system. 
 
Of 2,677 alarm activations so far this year, more than two-thirds were non-emergency, causing more than 48 hours of delays for customers on the subways.  Further, there is sometimes a domino effect, particularly during the winter months, when people are dressed warmly and can overheat during a long delay, feel unwell and potentially activate another emergency alarm.
 
As part of the TTC's efforts to reduce the number of non-emergency alarms, customers will begin noticing new "Emergency Alarm" decals accompanying the yellow alarm strips on vehicles as all "Passenger Assistance Alarm" decals are phased out. The public information campaign has also begun appearing in the subway system, featuring an actual Toronto firefighter, police officer and paramedic.
 
A new TTC video highlights these changes, explaining that pressing the yellow emergency alarm on the subway is like calling 9-1-1, and should only be used in case of emergency. If a person is feeling unwell, it’s best to exit the train at the next stop and notify TTC staff by using the intercom on the platform.
 
Emergency alarms are located throughout subway trains, above the windows, near priority seating and next to all doors – for the safety of everyone using transit.
 
Watch the explainer video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN3qqnqqz6I
 
For more information please visit ttc.ca.

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