March 2024

METRO and HFD: Partners in Emergency Preparedness

Firefighter stands at a METRO train.


In the event of an emergency along a METRORail line, response time is critical. So is planning for various scenarios ahead of time.

That’s why a longstanding partnership between METRO and the Houston Fire Department is crucial to helping anyone involved in an incident, as well as protecting the broader community.

This month, METRO held another training session to familiarize first responders with rail operations.

“Whenever we are out in the field and we run across each other, they already know us, so there is a trust there between us,” said Light Rail Technician Alfredo Cruz. “They just need to know we are there to help.”

Cruz is part of METRORail’s Heavy Repair Team, a group of specialized technicians among the first to be deployed. “As soon as it is put over the radio, we have to jump into action,” said Cruz. “We respond to it as fast as we can.”

Team members take equipment to assist HFD, including what’s needed to lift the 100,000-pound trains, just in case.

Technician Alfredo Franco is proud of the work they do.

“It feels good being able to help people… Going out and being part of the community where you can help in some way has been an amazing experience,” said Franco.

METRO Instructors show new firefighters how to access a train panel.
Safety Focused: Light Rail (LRV) Technician Alfredo Cruz shows HFD personnel the lifting points on a METRORail train.
METRO instructor teaches firefighters how to access train during an emergency.

Lifting 100,000-Pound Trains: Rail Vehicle Maintenance Trainer John Jack answers questions.


During the training sessions, new and experienced firefighters learn the basics of how to power trains on and off and manually open doors. It’s also a chance for everyone to run through different emergency situations and talk about the best ways to handle them.

Front view of METR train operator's cabin.
Emergency Preparedness: Members of METRO’s Heavy Repair Team show how to operate components of a light rail train.

HFD District Chief Hunter Schappaugh says this training is especially important for personnel assigned to the many fire stations along the three METRORail lines.

“It’s important that we know how to deal with these incidents with the light rail if they occur,” said Schappaugh. It makes it easier for us to do our job more quickly and efficiently. Time is of the essence.”

METRO light rail train with a HFD truck parked next to it.
A Top Priority: Partnerships with HFD and other area agencies reinforce METRO's commitment to safety.

METRO’s number one priority is safety. Partnerships with HFD and other area agencies reinforce that commitment.

It’s important for the public to focus on safety as well. Learn how to protect yourself, and others near METRORail.

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