14.1 Emergency information at stations to ensure rapid intervention

Emergency information at stations include posters, signs, flyers, information on screens, etc. to provide people with information on what to do when they see person at risk of suicide. Emergency information at stations is used to provide passengers and other people who notice problematic behaviour, with a contact route to ensure rapid intervention when problems occur, before the person collides with a train (i.e. instructions on how to act when identifying a person at risk, who to contact and how). This measure therefore includes information related to a helpline number or an emergency button. The final goal of this measure is to prevent railway suicides that occur at stations by early and rapid intervention.
  • If information is given through posters, flyers, signs or information boards, staff / contractors will be needed to periodically check their condition and if necessary update their condition.
  • If information is given through a column with an emergency button to report any kind of emergency, then people should be informed before installation about the functionality of the emergency button.
  • You can provide an emergency number at stations for suspicious behaviour.
  • You can provide emergency buttons at staffed or unstaffed stations. To be effective, this measure should be combined with appropriate signage and information. This will also rely on the effectiveness of the type of response (e.g. does it go to the signaller who can stop trains?).
  • After installing an emergency button or telephone, conduct periodic maintenance in order to check if the equipment is still functioning properly.
  • The effect of available emergency information at stations is likely to be reduced over time. The effect can be maintained by replacing the old and spoilt posters / information boards by new ones.
  • There should be no problems concerning the acceptance of this measure, though some organisations may not want to draw attention to negative events. In some cases, the measure may need support from station owners/operators, railway undertakings, etc.
  • The content and design of the posters / information boards should be carefully planned. It might be that the same content and design are not effective in all environments/cultures.
  • The target group may be quite low as many people seek out places to be alone when attempting suicide.
  • It may be best to combine with other measures (campaigns, information in or close to stations, etc.) to ensure knowledge of the contact means.
  • This measure could be more suitable especially at unstaffed stations.
  • At staffed stations, does the staff need any special training?
  • Alternatives which work in a similar way to the emergency button could include the use of free help lines (e.g. Belgium), so that people would only need to be familiar with the helpline number and have a phone to hand.

last update: 2014-09-10 Print