Toronto

Major emergency drill planned for Union Station on Saturday night

If you happen to be in or around Union Station late Saturday night, you might see many emergency vehicles, people pretending to be seriously injured, and "first responders" dealing with the mayhem.

People may see actors pretending to be seriously injured, first responders following protocol

Metrolinx is hosting, in partnership with Toronto Paramedic Services, an emergency exercise at Union Station — the largest joint emergency exercise to take place at the busiest transit hub in the country. (Ryan Turford/CBC)

If you happen to be in or around Union Station late Saturday night, you might see many emergency vehicles, people pretending to be seriously injured, and "first responders" dealing with the mayhem.

Metrolinx wants you to know that it's all a drill and you should not be alarmed. You should not call 911.

The drill — which will begin late Saturday and end early Sunday morning — will include 150 actors and up to 200 emergency crew members, such as paramedics, police officers and firefighters. Metrolinx employees will be on hand as well.

"Safety is critical to everything we do at Metrolinx," George Bell, the agency's vice-president of safety and security said in a news release this week.

"It is important to regularly test our emergency preparedness to ensure our staff and first responders are ready in the event of any type of critical incident at Union Station."

What do transit customers, local residents need to know?

  • All GO Transit bus and train, UP Express, VIA Rail and TTC services will operate as usual.
  • There will be temporary road and sidewalk closures around Union Station into early Sunday morning.
  • Staff will be at the station to help direct customers who are getting off trains.
  • Seeing so much emergency activity can be upsetting, so people may want to avoid the area during the drill.

This exercise is not the first time that Metrolinx has conducted a simulation exercise with emergency crews in the region. 

In September 2018 and April 2017, Metrolinx conducted emergency simulations to test and assess responses to train derailments.

Metrolinx reminds people that Saturday night's exercise is not an actual emergency, and it is important the public should avoid calling 911 to ask questions.