Editorial Archive

Reaching for the yellow alarm strip? Think 9-1-1

11/28/14 6:00 AM

Earlier this week, the TTC held a joint event with Toronto Fire, Police and Paramedic Services to promote the proper use of the emergency alarm on TTC subway and Scarborough rapid transit trains.

As any regular subway or SRT rider knows, delays due to activations of the alarm are a regular source of frustration.

Many of the activations do not constitute an actual emergency. To date this year, there have been more than 2,600 alarm activations causing almost 120 hours of delays. Close to 70 per cent of these activations were deemed to be non-emergencies.

To address this, and to reserve use of the alarm for genuine emergencies, we are renaming the yellow strip to EMERGENCY ALARM to reflect its core purpose. This move is also intended to ensure that emergency responders are not called unnecessarily when their help may have been needed at some more pressing situation elsewhere.

At this week’s event, we joined with emergency services personnel to stress the need to treat the emergency alarm as you would a call to 9-1-1. If there is a genuine emergency that requires the presence of fire, police or paramedics, the alarm should be used. If, however, you feel faint, or if there is some other non-emergency situation, we ask you to exit the train so that we can provide the assistance you need at a station without bringing service to a halt. If in doubt, press the Emergency Alarm and train crews will call for emergency responders.

This change is part of our overall strategy to make your service more reliable. We have other work ongoing to cut delays, but by restricting use of the alarm to genuine emergencies you are helping us to keep the TTC moving.

To learn more about use of the alarm and emergency features on the subway and SRT, visit the TTC’s YouTube channel at Youtube.com/OfficialTTCchannel.

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