New York State Operation Lifesaver

New York State Operation Lifesaver
Operation Lifesaver

About Us

New York Operation Lifesaver (NYOL) is 501 [c] 3 non-profit corporation organized to promote public safety education with the purpose of ending collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. The program was established in 1983.


NYOL Board of Directors meetings are held quarterly. General membership meetings are held annually, and as needed. Locations vary. Call for details.

Grade Crossing Collision Investigation Course (GCCI)

Operation Lifesaver has developed a Grade Crossing Collision Investigation course for law enforcement officers in cooperation with the law enforcement community. Courses are available in 8-hour and 16-hour lengths to fit your schedule. These courses help officers perform their jobs safely whenever they are required to be around railroad property.

Rail Safety for Emergency Responders Course (RSER)

Operation Lifesaver has developed a Rail Safety for Emergency Responders course for training emergency response professionals including fire, EMS, emergency management agencies, police and homeland security personnel. The program teaches first responders the key safety elements involved when they work around dangers inherent in a railroad environment. Our RSER course provides emergency responders with information critical for railroad incident response including: Safe response; knowledge of railroad electrical, fuel and air systems; hazardous materials; identifying rolling stock; pinch points; stopping a train; high/low pressure tank cars, and other on-scene dangers.


Each year, our network of volunteers assist with free programs on rail safety education for hundreds of groups around the state. Most OL volunteers donate personal time to speak with schoolchildren, community organizations, driver education classes, professional truck and bus drivers, emergency response personnel and law enforcement officers, educating them about highway-rail grade crossing safety and the importance of staying off railroad tracks and property.

In 2013, Operation Lifesaver (OL) is transitioning from a certified presenter program to the Operation Lifesaver Authorized Volunteer (OLAV) program. Current certified Presenters can go through the online OLAV training when it becomes available, and are able to be both an OL Presenter and an OLAV through 2013. Please visit New York Operation Lifesaver for more information.

Safety Trains

Special trains are operated usually once a year to help educate state, local and other municipal leaders about the dangers associated with highway-rail grade crossings and other rail safety issues including trespassing.

Other Volunteer Activities

NYOL sponsors and staffs exhibits at the New York State Fair and Erie County Fair, as well as train shows and other railroad related events.

Related Sites and Sources

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. is a non-profit organization providing public education programs to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings.

Federal Railroad Administration - Office of Safety Analysis - The purpose of this site is to make railroad safety information including accidents and incidents, inventory and highway-rail crossing data readily available to the public. Site users can run dynamic queries, download a variety of safety database files, publications and forms, and view current statistical information on railroad safety.

How Can I help?

Contact NYOL to schedule a presentation or training class for your group or organization.

Volunteer your time and become an authorized presenter.

NYOL welcomes charitable donations that are used entirely to support our public education efforts across the Empire State.

Please remember to "Look, Listen, Live!" when approaching highway-rail grade crossings. Trespassing on railroad property is not only illegal, but dangerous. "Stay off, Stay away, Stay alive!"


For current information about the following NYS Operation Lifesaver programs, or to schedule an event, please contact the NYS Operation Lifesaver state coordinator.


Phil Merens
State Coordinator
PO Box 214
Rensselaer, NY 12144 

Phone: (518) 269-9131 
Email: [email protected]