On October 25, if you had me as a friend on Snapchat, you would have seen me, some other students in PKIN 0750, as well as students from York, Centennial College, and George Brown take part in the Staged Emergency Disaster hosted by the TTC in preparation for the new subway extension opening on December 17!
Through a team effort of TTC staff; various first responders from the Toronto Fire Department, Toronto Police Service, the EMS; assorted community members; and nearly six hundred participants, the exercise ran from 6 A.M until just a little after noon. For me and everyone else who signed up from the PKIN course, we had to be there at 8 A.M sharp, but weren’t actually able to get into the subway until a little after 9 A.M.
And when we did finally go underground, after signing in and getting cue cards telling us our role, we all gasped at the splendor of the station—and let me be the first to say that it is absolutely gorgeous! There is a lot of natural light inside this incredible and sprawling station. If you have seen the videos posted online from various news outlets such as BlogTO, you know that the TTC has put in a lot of effort to not only have more stations built (after many years of delays and setbacks), but also to have them be aesthetically pleasing. I'm guessing quite a few people are going to be posting proud pictures when the extension finally opens to brag about how pretty the Toronto subway is.
Going back to the exercise, it was quite short for us students. Much to my eternal chagrin, I missed the students dressed up in fake wounds and blood acting out as victims. In my emergency scenario, I was near the front of the subway car, which did have a small benefit in letting me be the first to leave. And let me tell you, I did get hit with quite a surge of adrenaline hopping off the ramp, onto the tracks, and then climbing up and out to the main concourse level. All in all, it was a pretty unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I got to take part in, and it did make for some pretty interesting stories. I hope you’ll join me as I eagerly count down the days to the opening of York University Station!