Conn. Fire Dept. Says MTA Bungled Heat Rescue

By Chris Glorioso
|  Saturday, Jul 23, 2011  |  Updated 6:43 PM EDT
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Chris Glorioso reports.

Chris Glorioso reports.

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On a day when searing temperatures stalled several Metro North commuter trains, a small Connecticut fire company took a jab at the MTA for miscues in responding to stranded passengers.

When medics from the Westport Fire Department took several 911 calls from people stuck inside a sweltering train car, they contacted MTA dispatchers to find out exactly where the stalled train was.
 
Westport Assistant Fire Chief Bob Dingee told NBC New York it seemed as though MTA officials were unaware there were any passengers baking inside the train.
 
"We called Metro North. They said no one was on the train," Dingee said.
 
"Obviously our people found more than 200 people on the train." 
 
Among the passengers struggling with the heat were three pregnant women. 
 
Ultimately, Westport first responders joined MTA police officers in treating several overheated passengers near the Green's Farms station. No one suffered serious injury.
 
Still, the episode of crossed signals irritated Westport Deputy Chief Jon Gottfried enough that he fired off a written news release highlighting the MTA's alleged mistake.
 
"Quite a bit of confusion on the part of the MTA dispatchers contributed to emergency services delay in response," reads the statement. 
 
Gottfried went on to announce a meeting with the MTA in order to clear up the miscommunication.
 
"It is planned that an after-action meeting to discuss communications problems with MTA will be convened next week in Westport among the emergency responders and MTA officials."
 
NBC New York contacted the MTA seeking a response to claims of a bungled rescue. The agency declined comment, and confirmed the upcoming meeting with Westport officials.

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