Phase 7: Test—Make certain that all facilities are fully operational and safe by testing under the watchful eye of engineering, operations, and safety.
Phase 8: Clean-up—Clean the premises to the best possible state to permit normal operations.
The crash was heard at NYCTA's Union Square District 4 and about 40 transit police officers ran to assist passengers at the smoke-filled scene. Soon, officers from District 2, the Fire Department, and the Office of Emergency Management joined them. The Fire Department brought fans to help clear the smoke and steel cable to rope the wreckage to the support pillars so they could reach people still in the train cars without the roof caving in on them. Buses were dispatched to transport people to hospitals and the Red Cross provided food and drink for the injured. Some rescuers fainted from heat exhaustion as the temperature climbed over 110 degrees in the tunnel and two dozen police and fire workers were treated for injuries and smoke inhalation. Transit police officer Emanuel Bowser was riding the train when it crashed but helped people get off for more than four hours after the crash even though he had a broken arm and fingers himself.
After learning about the crash, NYCTA appointed Larry Gamache, general superintendent of track operations, as Wreckmaster. Larry set up team captains to coordinate activities throughout each phase of the disaster operations. A command center was established at a nearby subway station to direct and coordinate the operations. Gamache formulated a mental flow chart of how work needed to proceed. Each task had to be analyzed to determine what tasks had to precede it and what tasks could be conducted concurrently with it. Gamache also initiated regular meetings for all involved parties. This kept everyone informed of what progress had been made and provided them with estimates of future progress so activities could be coordinated and sequenced.
The plan was to remove the wreckage as quickly as possible from one track to allow worktrains to reach the disaster site, bringing needed materials to the site and removing debris. Since work had to continue throughout the Labor Day weekend on 12-hour shifts, facilities for the workers—food, drink, toilets—also had to be provided. Diesel trains pulled out the five cars that didn't derail but getting out the other five was a special problem. A new Hoersh hydraulic jacking system was brought in from another district that could lift a 44-ton car, move it sideways, and set it back down on the tracks. Using these jacks reduced by half the labor required to rerail the cars, thereby significantly expediting the recovery. As work progressed through the long weekend, it became apparent that the disaster recovery plan would meet its Tuesday morning completion goal and, in fact, trains began running again by late evening on Monday.
Lawrence Gamache, Wreckmaster
Larry Gamache started at NYCTA 24 years ago as a trackworker and progressed through many managerial positions on his way to general superintendent, track operations. His experience over those years clearly qualified him for the responsibility of this assignment, particularly his involvement as field supervisor of several earlier derailments. He was also highly involved in a three-year subway reconstruction project that required extensive coordination and negotiation with other city agencies, communities, and political leaders, all the while battling inclement weather and difficult conditions— yet, the project was completed ahead of time and well under budget. This experience, too, was valuable in coordinating the activities of the many groups involved in the disaster recovery.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.