The Palm Beach Post: First responders to speak against All Aboard Florida at Jupiter event

Posted on October 6, 2014

Citizens Against Rail Expansion, a group opposed to the All Aboard Florida project, is holding a press conference Tuesday where first responders are expected to discuss what they believe are negative impacts of the passenger rail service.

The press conference will be held at the Jupiter Medical Center at 10:30 a.m.

Speakers include John Couris, president and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center, Michael Collins, medical director of emergency services, and Tequesta Police Chief Christopher Elg, according to a notice sent by Citizens Against Rail Expansion. 

Tequesta Mayor Abby Brennan has said she is concerned about emergency vehicles being delayed by the increase of 32 trains per day on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks. All Aboard Florida is expected to begin service between Miami and West Palm Beach in 2016, with an Orlando leg opening in 2017.

“Because of the way we are surrounded by water, one train can block all three of our crossings,” Brennan said earlier this year. “Our assisted living facilities are all on the east side and we are worried that with all these extra trains ambulances may get stuck waiting.”

All Aboard Florida trains will be shorter than the typical freight train and are expected to pass through crossings in less than one minute.

Still, the Town of Jupiter Island  also fears that emergency vehicles will be impeded by the added trains. In a May letter to US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Jupiter Island Mayor Harry G. Charlston implores him to carefully review the project and its impacts.

“Gridlock poses concerns beyond convenience,” Charlston wrote. “Traffic backups from lengthy and frequent rail delays could significantly delay EMS and fire emergency response times, shaving precious moments from the famed ‘golden hour’ where expert treatment of a traumatic injury is most likely to save lives.”

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